Since I have moved from Windows XP to Ubuntu 12.10, I have been constantly blamed for increased electricity bills.(That may be true, but I think the reason is increase in the time I use my computer, because it is more productive now).

Is there any software that would calculate how much power my computer actually uses?

Note that I use a Desktop and the Powertop, Powerstat, and Power Statistics programs referenceed here only work for laptops. The answer suggests that for desktop the only solution "then" is to use a electronic watt-meter. Has the situation changed in last 2 years?

  • 1
    Possible duplicate askubuntu.com/questions/73904/…
    – Kushal
    Feb 17, 2014 at 7:32
  • possible duplicate of How do I measure server power consumption?
    – kamil
    Feb 17, 2014 at 9:36
  • The same tools that works for laptops should work for desktops. Just that laptops usually have more sensors available due the fact that they work over bateries.
    – Braiam
    Feb 17, 2014 at 23:41
  • @Braiam laptops use battery, desktops don't. that's why same tools don't work for both. Feb 18, 2014 at 5:46
  • 1
    It does, the same sensors manufacturers use for laptops they can use it in desktops, just that they do not include them. The reason why doesn't work isn't because they don't have battery is just that makers doesn't consider important to include those kind of sensors in they desktop models.
    – Braiam
    Feb 18, 2014 at 13:07

3 Answers 3


We have created a terminal tool to monitor CPU frequency/utilization/Temperature. It now also supports monitoring power on Intel CPUs newer than Sandy-Bridge.
You can see the power graph in watts on the bottom as well as on the side bar.
This only reads total CPU power, not per process and not including other components. enter image description here


The simple answer is: You can't by software

powertop seems to be fair in this situation

Use an electronic watt-meter

In instance check this link from intel


powerstat: Power Consumption Calculator for Ubuntu Linux

For that, open your Terminal and enter the below commands.

sudo apt-add-repository ppa:colin-king/powermanagement
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install powerstat

enter image description here

This should handle your request...

For more information and how to use check this

  • this works for laptop.aditya@aditya-desktop:~$ sudo powerstat -d 2 [sudo] password for aditya: Machine is indicating it is not discharging and hence we cannot measure power usage. Feb 18, 2014 at 5:45
  • It works also if you are working on backup for PC's
    – Maythux
    Feb 18, 2014 at 5:46
  • no it doesn't work even on backup power. Feb 18, 2014 at 5:52
  • Ok then i think you have to use an electronic watt-meter
    – Maythux
    Feb 18, 2014 at 5:54

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