I'm currently using this:

cpupower frequency-set --governor powersave

but it resets after each reboot.

For 16.04 there's one more step to add to Jayen's answer. The complete set of steps are

sudo apt-get install cpufrequtils
echo 'GOVERNOR="powersave"' | sudo tee /etc/default/cpufrequtils
sudo update-rc.d ondemand disable

The last step disables the "ondemand" daemon, which would otherwise overwrite the changes created by cpufrequtils.

See also How I can disable CPU frequency scaling and set the system to performance?

You might also consider adding, for example, MAX_SPEED="2GHz" to /etc/default/cpufrequtils if you have an overheating, say, 2.2GHz processor, to limit the maximum possible speed.

  • how to revert this change? – techvish81 Aug 25 '17 at 10:24
  • 2
    Can you still switch to the ondemand governor temporarily, using cpufreq-set, after disabling it with update-rc.d? – Xen2050 Dec 22 '17 at 23:15

To set the governor permanently to powersave, firstly install cpufrequtils:

sudo apt-get install cpufrequtils

And then edit the /etc/init.d/cpufrequtils file and change GOVERNOR to "powersave" (GOVERNOR="powersave"). You can do this automatically by using the following command:

sudo sed -i 's/^GOVERNOR=.*/GOVERNOR="powersave"/' /etc/init.d/cpufrequtils

From here: Prevent Your Laptop From Overheating With Thermald And Intel P-State

  • Editing the /etc/init.d/cpufrequtils is the wrong approach because this file contains the following code: if [ -f /etc/default/cpufrequtils ] ; then . /etc/default/cpufrequtils Therefore the default governor should be set as follow. echo 'GOVERNOR="powersave"' | sudo tee /etc/default/cpufrequtils – caracal Oct 1 at 18:59

Based on Alin's answer, but will persist when cpufrequtils is upgraded:

To set the governor permanently to powersave, firstly install cpufrequtils:

sudo apt-get install cpufrequtils

And then create/edit the /etc/default/cpufrequtils file (which is read from /etc/init.d/cpufrequtils) and set GOVERNOR="powersave". You can do this automatically by using the following command:

echo 'GOVERNOR="powersave"' | sudo tee /etc/default/cpufrequtils

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