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I'd like to increase the battery life on my XPS 13 running Ubuntu 14.04. Is this possible? It seems like running a native OS like Windows performs better and would like to maximize the efficiency of the machine.

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There is a package called laptop-mode-tools, which allows extending the life of battery. Another one is pm-powersave from pm-utils package. You can get either with

sudo apt-get install laptop-mode-tools

or

sudo apt-get install pm-utils

pm-powersave is mostly command line, have to be enabled with sudo pm-powersave true. laptop-mode-tools has a graphical front-end to it, written in PyQT.

For more info on both , check out this and this.

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