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EDIT/UPDATE: Here is a screenshot of powertop tuning report: Link

I'm very new to Ubuntu. Sorry if there are a lot of similar question to this but the answers I found from others differ from one another. Anyway, I'm running a dual boot of Windows 8 and Ubuntu 13.10.

My problem is whenever I boot to Ubuntu, my laptop's battery gets drained rather quickly compared to when I boot Windows. I also noticed excessive air blowing from the side vents of my laptop whenever I'm on Ubuntu. Also, if it's worth mentioning, my laptop is a Lenovo G505s.

After doing research, I found out about these:

  • Laptop mode - I read that it is not needed in 13.10 but I also read from other guides that I need to install it?

  • TLP - Must not be installed with Laptop mode. Is this a good power management tool?

  • Jupiter - Do I need this as well?

  • I installed powertop but I don't know how to use it. Please help with this. Here's the report (I think this is the relevant one): Link

  • I also did the necessary tidbits like lowering brightness, only using WiFi when I need it, etc.

Any other suggestions would be extremely helpful. Thank you in advance.

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  • It could be a bug in the kernel with your laptop, if you tried these solutions and see no o little improvement consider submitting a bug report.
    – Braiam
    Dec 7, 2013 at 15:44
  • I'm also on G550 (one with GeForce G 105M) and I'm having this problem as long as Ubuntu is installed on my PC. Battery on my laptop lasts for about 15 minutes. I spent some time trying to solve it (about a day in total) and tried basically anything that people proposed as a solution, with no actual result. I still use Ubuntu because my computer is plugged in most of the time. Just wanted a point out a few things that could save you time: - Switching to proprietary NVIDIA drivers probably won't help (I tried it). - Yeah, the problem is also not related to the Nvidia Optimus technology, as some
    – Timofey
    Dec 8, 2013 at 17:00

2 Answers 2

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You can use either laptop-mode-tools (which come pre-installed) or TLP, but not both at the same time. There is no big practical difference between the two, the consensus appears to be that TLP is somewhat more advanced, while laptop-mode-tools is somewhat more stable.

You can use powertop (sudo powertop) to see your biggest energy consumers, and to check (under "Tunables") if laptop-mode-tools/TLP are working properly - most parameters are supposed to switch to "Good" once the laptop is unplugged. Sample:

enter image description here

Some minor parameters (like VM writeback timeout, swappiness etc.) which are not auto-adjusted can be adjusted manually. Google will help you to find out how.

However, if your laptop has AMD/Nvidia graphics, power drainage is probably caused by the opensource X graphic driver. In which case, as much as we all like opensource, you have no option but to install proprietary video drivers (fglrx/bumblebee respectively). You will easily find the how-to's on the web.

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  • Thanks! How do check, via powertop, that laptop mode and/or TLP are working properly? Dec 7, 2013 at 14:07
  • powertop (it's a text utility) has several sections: Overview/Idle stats/Frequency stats/Device stats/Tunables. Use the Tab key to reach the "Tunables" section, where you'll see a list of parameters which are marked as "Bad" or "Good". If you start powertop with your laptop unplugged, most of these must be marked "Good". This shows that power saving settings have kicked in.
    – Pavel
    Dec 7, 2013 at 14:27
  • Here is a screenshot of the powertop tuning report: Link How do I make it so they will be marked "Good"? Dec 8, 2013 at 8:05
  • Do you have laptop-mode-tools or TLP installed? You can purge them with "sudo apt-get purge ...", then reinstall and check, first laptop-mode, then TLP.
    – Pavel
    Dec 8, 2013 at 9:47
  • I don't have TLP installed. But I think I have laptop-mode-tools because it comes pre-installed with Ubuntu 13.10? If not, then I don't have both. Dec 9, 2013 at 6:20
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I'am not linux expert but it seems to be a video card problem. Try to install the correct driver and the vents should stop and your battery would drain slower (but not even close to windows)

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  • 1
    I get values very close to Windows 7, and probably even better when switched to Intel graphics on my dual head HP dv6.
    – Pavel
    Dec 7, 2013 at 11:06

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