I'm using Ubuntu 13.04 on an older Toshiba Satellite and for a while now, the battery has done nothing but drain.

I knew when I got the laptop that the battery would need to be replaced within short order, so it's not a surprise - however, I've been watching it steadily fall from 100% to hold steady at 6% for weeks, with no apparent warnings from the OS.

Today it sits at a pithy 1%. No aspect of the Power Statistics window (clicking the "Battery: 1%" option under the Battery icon) indicates that something somewhere might be Out Of Whack.

As I said, I had anticipated that I'd need to replace the battery soon, but I also figured I'd get some kind of note from Ubuntu that there could be an issue. If I didn't have the power icon on my menu, and I did not realize the history of the laptop, I might not have noticed that this was even happening.

Did I simply miss a preference somewhere, or is this a genuine issue?

EDIT: Indeed per the accepted answer, installing and using acpi outputs the following:

Stick@Computer:~$ acpi -bi
Battery 0: Unknown, 0%
Battery 0: design capacity 4500 mAh, last full capacity 1520 mAh = 33%

So it goes - no driver, no ride.

UPDATE: It turns out the question was misread. Perhaps I was unclear in my asking, as well.

To be clear - I don't necessarily mean a giant popup stating "BATTERY OVER" or anything; however, it seems not-entirely-unreasonable to expect the output from the battery indicator to say "Not Charging" if the battery is, well, not charging. At present it simply says "Charging (1%)", when clearly it is not.

I'm not the sharpest beer in the shed, but I can tell when my battery is slowly degrading over time. However, admittedly, I only knew that the slow death had begun because the light on my laptop that indicates the battery is charging no longer came on. I then noticed that Ubuntu's indication that the battery was "Charging" was incorrect.

I know that Windows will at least modify the visible icon to show that there is a charging issue with the battery. This is what I mean by "warning" - I don't think I need a big popup, but even just a battery with a :( next to it would be a pleasant indicator that something is borked.

Lousy OS, decent message

And here again, a popup which clearly states that it is not charging.

No charge for you

Again - I can put 2 and 2 together to suss it out for myself, but it 'feels like an oversight', and I wanted to ensure that there was not a preference or setting that maybe I inadvertently turned off that was preventing me from seeing said icon in my laptop window.

So did I in fact do this to myself, or is there a separate issue at play?

  • I have just made an extensive edit to my answer because I had misunderstood your issue. The acpi output shows that your battery is recognized just fine, I had not realized that you wanted some kind of pop-up from the OS. You might want to unaccept my answer since it no longer states what it did when you accepted it. – terdon Apr 14 '14 at 1:22
  • Ahhh okay. Gotcha – Stick Apr 14 '14 at 14:23
  • Thanks for unaccepting. I'll delete my answer now since it doesn't say anything very useful. The basic idea is that there is no such message. Thankfully. It would get very annoying after a while. – terdon Apr 14 '14 at 14:24
  • ...I've updated my question summarily. The last thing I want is a popup, heh. A sad battery icon would do; it just seemed like an intuitive feature of the OS to notice and/or correctly report on battery status when I go digging through the Power Statistics window - to put it another way, while I can certainly deduce that it isn't charging, it doesn't need to lie to me either :D – Stick Apr 14 '14 at 14:44
  • Well, it's trivial to write one, I can whip up a quick little script that will print a popup warning on reboot if the battery falls bellow a certain level of performance by parsing the acpi output. Would that interest you or do you want it integrated in the os? Also note that Windows is likewise telling you that the battery is charged, it looks like neither OS can detect that it's not charging. – terdon Apr 14 '14 at 14:48