Since upgrading from 20.04 to 20.10, my laptop (Lenovo Ideapad 730S)'s CPU governor has been a mess. I use CPU Power Manager GNOME Extension to manage it, but the setting I choose doesn't hold since I upgraded and it fluctuates between the setting and powersave. Removing the extension and associated scripts (cpufreqctl and policykit rule) makes it default to powersave, which I can feel.

I've tried cpufreq as well but the setting doesn't hold and it reverts to powersave.

Does anyone know how I can set it to always be like ondemand or performance? Or even just the default functionality? Basically anything but powersave (it's always plugged in). I'd like to be able to use CPU Power Manager extension again, ideally.

It's not hot and the fans are running lowspeed.

I also want to make sure things aren't competing to set the governor as that's what I think is causing the fluctuations.

EDIT: CPU frequency scaling driver:


Thank you for helping me work though this. I didn't see any changes on the watch window - it stayed saying "performance" for each core. I had turbostat up for like half an hour or so. Here's the output https://pastebin.com/g3dA2vUQ

  • It would help to know which CPU scaling driver you are using. The meaning of the 'powersave` governor is different if the driver is intel_pstate in active mode verses the acpi-cpufreq and intel_cpufreq, and maybe others, drivers. Do grep . /sys/devices/system/cpu/cpufreq/policy*/scaling_driver. I can help you, but only with primitive commands, I never ever use higher level stuff (well, sometimes thermald). By the way, the ondemand governor does not exist for the intel_pstate driver in active mode. Nov 18, 2020 at 20:07
  • /sys/devices/system/cpu/cpufreq/policy0/scaling_driver:intel_pstate /sys/devices/system/cpu/cpufreq/policy1/scaling_driver:intel_pstate /sys/devices/system/cpu/cpufreq/policy2/scaling_driver:intel_pstate /sys/devices/system/cpu/cpufreq/policy3/scaling_driver:intel_pstate /sys/devices/system/cpu/cpufreq/policy4/scaling_driver:intel_pstate /sys/devices/system/cpu/cpufreq/policy5/scaling_driver:intel_pstate /sys/devices/system/cpu/cpufreq/policy6/scaling_driver:intel_pstate /sys/devices/system/cpu/cpufreq/policy7/scaling_driver:intel_pstate I have seen about intel_pstate
    – umer936
    Nov 18, 2020 at 20:13
  • For the intel_pstate CPU frequency scaling driver there is only the powersave and performance governors. For most users the powersave governor provides sufficient responsiveness, and is similar to the acpi-cpufreq CPU scaling driver using the ondemand or scheutil governors. It is also a function of if your processor has HWP (HardWare P-state) control or not. Nov 18, 2020 at 21:58
  • @DougSmythies That's similar to what I was reading, but it's not what's happening. It's quite sluggish even on Firefox browsing with 2 tabs (Gmail and this one), which is absolutely not how it behaved under 20.04. (I've checked htop - nothing seems abnormal there). I know turbo boost occasionally gets triggered because I can feel the difference even in the mouse cursor. It'll literally change speed while moving it and is very unnatural... Do you think multiple things are trying to set the governor?
    – umer936
    Nov 18, 2020 at 22:17
  • I do not know if multiple things are trying to set the governor, perhaps watch it to observe. Say, watch --interval 5 grep . /sys/devices/system/cpu/cpufreq/policy*/scaling_governor It seems more like either an issue with graphics (which I know nothing about) or some sort of CPU throttling. Suggest to always run turbostat on some terminal window, observing. Say, sudo turbostat --Summary --quiet --show Busy%,Bzy_MHz,PkgTmp,PkgWatt,GFXWatt,IRQ --interval 6. Nov 19, 2020 at 15:31

1 Answer 1


Appears to be fixed by upgrading to 21.04.

shrug no clue why/how/what but it's definitely not throttling the CPU after I upgraded today.

It will be nice to not have to manually set the min/max perf pct settings every few hours.

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