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Logout, Restart and Shutdown are all self explanatory to me.

What are the differences between Suspend and Hibernate on the shutdown menu?

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I was about to ask this question myself. Thanks! –  Matt Joiner Nov 10 '10 at 7:21
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2 Answers

up vote 37 down vote accepted

Suspend does not turn off your computer. It puts the computer and all peripherals on a low power consumption mode. If the battery runs out or the computer turns off for some reason, the current session and unsaved changes will be lost.

Hibernate saves the state of your computer to the hard disk and completely powers off. When resuming, the saved state is restored to RAM.

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So is it this: Suspend to RAM, Hibernate to disk? –  Richard Holloway Aug 31 '10 at 17:59
    
@Richard: yes, exactly (although hibernation is sometimes called suspend-to-disk; but suspension is never called hibernate-to-memory). –  Gilles Sep 1 '10 at 0:00
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This calls for a hack to switch suspend to hibernate when battery's about to die. –  Oxwivi Feb 21 '11 at 19:08
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The power-management scripts use these terms:

  • suspend -- suspend to ram; some folks call this "sleep"
  • resume -- restart after suspend to ram; does not use grub
  • hibernate -- suspend to disk; includes power-off, looks like shutdown
  • thaw -- restart after suspend to disk; includes a trip through grub

Bonne chance.

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@user11224: Please have a look at our editing help. Also, to my knowledge the term "thaw" is unusual in this context, and technically incorrect, since one (in nature) normally wakes up from hibernation. –  oKtosiTe Feb 21 '11 at 19:41
    
@oKtosiTe he said that the scripts used those terms :) –  MiJyn Jan 6 at 16:43
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