I apologise if this question is too similar to the numerous others already asked, but it seems that my difference in battery life is significantly more noticeable than others that have been reported.

I recently installed Ubuntu 11.10 on my HP Pavilion dv6 laptop (which I purchased brand new just under one year ago). When running Windows 7 on this laptop, I have been able to get up to two and a half to three hours of battery life with wireless disabled and when running only Microsoft Word. However, when running Ubuntu, I am unable to use the laptop if it is not plugged in.

Upon unplugging the fully-charged machine from the power cord, if I have wireless enabled, I immediately receive a notification that the battery levels are critically low and that shutdown is imminent. Even if I replace the power plug, the laptop shuts down within thirty seconds. If I disable wireless capability, I am able to run the laptop for an absolute maximum of five minutes on battery powers before receiving the same message. I have tried running with Jupiter on Power Saver mode, but to no noticeable effect.

Ignoring the fact that I can't use my laptop without being attached to a power source, I really do enjoy using Ubuntu, and hence would greatly appreciate any help that can be offered.

  • whilst this is for lucid - could you try this and confirm/deny if it resolves your problem? askubuntu.com/questions/6491/…
    – fossfreedom
    Feb 23, 2012 at 10:08
  • @fossfreedom Having now set use_time_for_policy to false, on unplugging the fully-charged machine with wireless active, the battery indicator showed '0:01 left' for about about half a minute, then jumped to '0:29 left', and after another thirty seconds changed to '1:01 left', and has since been jumping between seemingly random numbers between 0:20 and 1:00 for a few minutes, while the battery image looks to have depleted by twenty-five per cent within a space of ten minutes (so I'd assume a current battery life of forty minutes based on this, ignoring the odd jumble of time left estimates).
    – JamesG
    Feb 23, 2012 at 10:35
  • .... leave it for a while for the system to collect stats - recharge and repeat... hopefully the accuracy of the display will improve. Remember to reedit any replies to comments that has significant information such as above back into your question. Stuff often gets overlook in the comments.
    – fossfreedom
    Feb 23, 2012 at 10:43
  • Wow. I know Ubuntu's battery life isn't all that great... But only 5 minutes? I'd certainly report this as a bug. Then it might get fixed before Ubuntu 12.04 is released.
    – RobinJ
    Feb 23, 2012 at 10:49
  • JamesG, can you please tell us specs on your machine? Any propietary drivers in use?
    – crackout12
    Mar 30, 2012 at 3:07

2 Answers 2


Just stay plugged in. If you only use it at home then that should be easy. But if you don't want to pay a huge power bill then try reducing screen brightness. Usually at lowest screen brightness when unplugged I get about 3 hours of battery. But then again I am a Compaq Presario CQ56.

I know this because I have lowered my screen brightness unplugged. If you deleted Windows and installed Ubuntu then search your power specs on-line. If you still have Windows you should be able to view your power specs by booting Windows and going to control panel. Hope this helps. (P.S. I no longer use Windows. I replaced Windows with Ubuntu.)


The problem is not that your battery is empty but that Ubuntu thinks that it is empty and shuts down. This can happen especially with old batteries. If you disable the automatic shutdown on critical power you should be able to use it nearly as long as under Windows. I don't know how to do this in 11.10 but take a look at this or try google if it doesn't work ;-)

The downside is that you can't see the remaining time and at some point you laptop will just turn itself of without a warning.

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