There are plenty of tutorials online for checking your battery level in a ubuntu terminal. The most common solution seems to be to use upower. However, when I run upower in a WSL Ubuntu shell in Windows 10 on my Surface Pro, I get this:

user@sp4-2637:~/the_thing$ sudo upower

(upower:665): UPower-WARNING **: Cannot connect to upowerd: Could not connect: No such file or directory

Running with sudo priviliges yields the same result.

On my laptop running native ubuntu I can query the battery level like this;

cat /sys/class/power_supply/BAT0/capacity

However, this results in the following on my Surface:

user@sp4-2637:~$ cat /sys/class/power_supply/BAT0/capacity
cat: /sys/class/power_supply/BAT0/capacity: No such file or directory

How can I query the battery level in a WSL ubuntu shell for a Microsoft Surface?


As I wrote this question I found the solution so I thought I'd share it.

I don't know whether this is a peculiarity of the Surface hardware or of the WSL ubuntu version, but the directory structure appears to be different on this setup:

user@sp4-2637:~$ ls /sys/class/power_supply/
ac  battery  usb

Rather than looking in the BAT0 directory I can find the battery level in battery:

user@sp4-2637:~$ cat /sys/class/power_supply/battery/capacity
  • 1
    I found cat /sys/class/power_supply/battery/capacity to work with WSL on Thinkpad T480 as well. It correctly displays the charges left on both batteries (internal + swappable). – llinfeng Nov 12 '19 at 1:12
  • how to change this? i had this problem too.. my correct path is /sys/class/power_supply/BAT1/capacity – Putra Fajar Hasanuddin May 13 '20 at 22:39

My Surface-Book-2 with WSL2 Ubuntu shell has the battery level in /sys/class/power_supply/BAT1/capacity

It may be different depending on hardware. Try the following locations


If tlp is a package available on WSL Ubuntu shell you can run the command

sudo tlp stat -b
  • WSL's kernel doesn't expose ACPI information which tlp requires in order to query the device's battery state, – Rich Turner Dec 16 '20 at 1:03

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