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I have Kubuntu 12.04 installed on my ThinkPad X220. Today, I just tried to see what happens when the battery runs low. It went steadily down to 0% and then just died. This is what I have set up:

Is that normal that it just dies and does not shutdown?

Edit: The 3% mark was reached some 15 minutes before the computer died. There should have been plenty time.

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Its likely your battery literally ran out of power before the system could get the shutdown command issued, hence why it didnt shut down. I'd recommend raising your critical level to 7% or 10%, and your low warning level to 20%.

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No, that's not the issue. The system can run about 5 hours on battery, and I saw the 0% for around 4 minutes before it went out. So from the 3% on, I guess there were some 15 minutes. So there was plenty time, but it did not do anything about it. – Martin Ueding Jul 11 '12 at 14:50
queueoverflow: Below 10% is unable to be perfectly detected by guessing, even a minor increase in battery/power rate usage will tank it. I have a laptop/netbook/system that can run on battery for > 6 hours, when it goes below 10% it usually dies very very quickly, so I strongly recommend ciritcal level at 10% – Thomas Ward Jul 11 '12 at 14:51

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