Im using a brand new Dell XPS notebook (bought mar 2012) which has 4.5 hrs battery life using a 6 cell battery-when i use windows 7. The machine uses an Intel core 17 2670qm processor, and a 64 bit operating system.

I downloaded Ubuntu 11.10 and installed it on a USB drive, which is how i use it. I still have Windows 7 on the machine. When the machine is booting up I hit F12, and run Ubuntu from the flash drive instead of the machine booting Windows, as it normally would.

On the Ubuntu menu, on the top right area, there is a battery menu, which shows how long to charge battery, or how much life left etc..with a fully charged battery the most Ubuntu will give me is 1.5 hrs. I've adjusted all power setting etc by clicking on the battery meter where i can make these adjustments, and have even turned down the brightness on the monitor.

I've read through these questions here, and a user wrote to install Ubuntu 12(?)(the alpha version) when it's out this month(april), and this has better power management. Other forums (Ubuntu wiki) state that windows 7 controls power management effectively because it's configured to work with the hardware.

I'd like to install Ubuntu and wipe windows but can't because of this issue. I need my notebook to go hours, not an hour and a bit.

Can anybody recommend possibly a good software to use, that will work with the machines bios under Ubuntu? Another thought of mine, is- since I didn't yet wipe windows off my hard disk, is windows still possibly controlling the power mgmt aspect on the machine? I've thought of calling tech support at Dell and asking for help there, maybe Dell has something (a tweak?), I can download that'll work under Ubuntu.

Looking forward to any help/suggestions i can get here, i'm really stuck on this..

  • 1
    Well, how long is your battery life really though, using the USB? Just because an indicator says 1.5 doesn't mean that's the battery life. Please add it to your question above. Thanks! Apr 17, 2012 at 18:30
  • Did you actually tried to see how long it takes to completely discharge your laptop on Ubuntu? I have a gut feeling that lm-sensors might be improperly configured. Apr 17, 2012 at 18:40
  • Possible Duplicate askubuntu.com/questions/285434/…
    – Qasim
    Jun 14, 2013 at 14:56

6 Answers 6


This may be a little late but, keep in mind that Dell laptops have their CD/DVD players running through the USB system and if you are running a Live CD this will drastically reduce your battery life. I have installed Ubuntu 12.10 using Wubi along side Windows 7 and have had no battery issues.


Install 12.04LTS when you're ready

On my Acer Aspire 1810TZ, I got about 3.5-4 hours in Ubuntu 11.10. In Ubuntu 12.04LTS, I get 7+. So yes, Ubuntu 11.10 has some issues with power use. My desktop too. When I used 11.10, the fans went wild, so to speak. In 12.04LTS, it was cool and quiet.

So these are known issues, though they aren't necessarily easy to fix. Some of the issues, for example, is said to be caused by the inability to optimize because of erroneous information provided by the hardware.

Anyway, most if not all, of those issues have been fixed in 12.04LTS. So I would just upgrade if I were you. It is a little early, but I don't think you'll run into any problems. 12.04LTS has been quite stable for a good while now. You may want to have a quick live testrun (CD or memory stick), but you shouldn't run into anything, I think.

These issues are not caused by Windows. It is caused by Ubuntu. We've never had anything like that in any prior version of Ubuntu, so it's a great exception. Some have called 11.10 the "Vista of Ubuntu". I don't think it's far off. It's nice and stable, but it has some issues with performance and battery life.

PS: From the way you wrote "to install Ubuntu 12(?)(the alpha version)", I take it you're not familiar with how Ubuntu versions work. 12.04LTS simply means it's released in April 2012. 11.10 means October 2011. Very easy to remember. (Compared to another operating system vendor which uses the name "7" for a product version 6.1 and "8" for 6.2:))

The LTS means it's a special version that's supported for 5 years. Non-LTS versions, like 11.10 are only supported for 1.5 years. :)


install jupiter, and set to power saving/power in demand

add the repository

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:webupd8team/jupiter
sudo apt-get update

install jupiter

sudo apt-get install jupiter

Have a nice day :)


Granola (http://grano.la) is useful for conserving power.

I hear that Ubuntu 12.04 is more battery conserving so you may want to try that when it comes out.

Have you tried draining the battery to 0% and charging to 100% non-stop?

Give that a go and get back to us.

Thank you.

  • If he doesn't have any issues with battery life on Windows, it's unlikely that draining the battery would have any effect? Apr 17, 2012 at 18:46
  • @Jo-ErlendSchinstad Maybe so, but I think it's worth a try.
    – user39893
    Apr 17, 2012 at 20:07

The Linux/Ubuntu version of Granola, and installation instructions, can be found here.




Try using the TLP. I had the same power issue on my Toshiba satellite while using Ubuntu 12.04. The tool now has increased my battery life considerably well. U can get the tool and the instructions for installing it from the following link http://linrunner.de/en/tlp/docs/tlp-linux-advanced-power-management.html

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