I know there are many questions on this argument, but I want to be sure that the answer for old ubuntu version can be used for this version, so this is the question, how can I improve my battery life on ubuntu 18.04? I installed ubuntu in dual boot with win10 and I've noticed that ubuntu run more frequently the fans and the estimated battery life is less then win10. I've already switched to integrated intel graphics card and I've installed tlp, what can I still do?
@JoshuaBesneatte is compatible with tlp or are mutual exclusive?– Andrea BellizziSep 27, 2018 at 16:00
1for now seems they are working together and the battery is improved of 1 hour– Andrea BellizziSep 27, 2018 at 16:12
This is how I get the best battery life with my Dell XPS 15 9570 (nvidia graphics) on any Ubuntu 18.04+ based system (Elementary OS, Mint, etc.)
sudo apt-get install tlp powertop
sudo tlp start
Check that it's running:
sudo tlp-stat -s
Check battery drain watts with AC disconnected and most apps and browser tabs closed (give it a few moments to stabilise):
Press ESC to exit (it takes a few seconds).
Important for nvidia graphics
Using your onboard intel graphics when you're on battery should make a big difference. However tlp will not power down the nvidia card by default when using your onboard intel because it expects another service such as bumblebee to do so. Bumblebee doesn't work in Ubuntu 18.04+ so tlp is the best option.
sudo nano /etc/default/tlp
Uncomment this line and set value to empty:
Switch to your intel graphics, restart and check power usage:
sudo prime-select intel sudo reboot sudo powertop
Note in future switching to intel or nvidia only requires a logout depending on your setup.
Optional further steps (applicable to all machines)
Check if --auto-tune reduces your power significantly:
sudo powertop --auto-tune sudo powertop
If --auto-tune made a big difference then go to the powertop tunables by pressing TAB a few times. Anything you adjust here is temporary. Test which ones make a difference in your power usage without causing any annoying behaviour such as sleeping external USB devices too quickly. Now make them permanent by editing tlp config. This requires some experimentation.
To edit tlp config and restart it afterwards:
sudo nano /etc/default/tlp sudo systemctl restart tlp
Refresh powertop tunables page by pressing r.
+1 but I think you meant to say
prime-select intelApr 17, 2019 at 19:55
Ubuntu 19.10: Command 'restart' not found. Mar 14, 2020 at 11:34
Note that powertop needs to run for like an hour before you can use the --auto-tune feature or it will throw an error when attempting. Sometimes the error does not mention it, but generally it will say something along the lines of "not enough samples collected".– TmanokSep 20, 2021 at 19:17
There are multiple power managers, and for a laptop, you may want to use
sudo apt install laptop-mode-tools
Per linrunner, author of TLP:
"Conflicts: laptop-mode-tools" --> salsa.debian.org/MoonSweep-guest/tlp/blob/master/debian/control
So installing laptop-mode-tools will remove tlp and vice versa. I would not recommend using apt purge because users will loose their edits to /etc/default/tlp (in case they want to reinstall tlp).
You can monitor/diagnose your power consumption with
sudo apt install powertop
1This will not work with TLP: tlp and laptop-mode-tools packages are mutually exclusive. Oct 2, 2018 at 17:44
some sources say it will... many say they conflict, I will update my answer accordingly Oct 3, 2018 at 2:40
1The package itself implements "Conflicts: laptop-mode-tools" --> salsa.debian.org/MoonSweep-guest/tlp/blob/master/debian/control . So installing laptop-mode-tools will remove tlp and vice versa. I would not recommend using apt purge because users will loose their edits to /etc/default/tlp (in case they want to reinstall tlp). Btw: I'm TLP's author. Oct 4, 2018 at 5:22
I'm willing to bet that your problem has to do with your nvidia graphics card running all the time, despite switching to intel graphics. That seems to be the problem for everyone running 18.04 Ubuntu and they still hasnt't fixed it...
3So what is the solution or work-around? Oct 18, 2018 at 9:20
Ubuntu and Linux Mint 20 users are no longer experiencing this issue. I'm successfully using Intel Graphics after specifying "On Deman" in NVidia X Server Settings. Note, you can check if your Nvidia GPU is running with nvtop aka Nvidia System Monitor QT which has a debian package on their github.– TmanokSep 20, 2021 at 19:19