I am new to Ubuntu and I don't speak computerese. I really don't! I have read the various threads on the topic and still can't work it out.

I have recently purchased a Lenovo Thinkpad x250 and I want to set my battery management to have charging thresholds and whatever other settings are ideal for prolonging the battery life.

I have looked into tlp and tp-smapi. I also found tpacti-bat. Unfortunately, I don't understand what it says on this website at all.

I installed tlp, which apparently has to be managed entirely from the terminal. I haven't found any descriptions I understand on how to do this and I have no idea how I can see the settings and change them.

So I deleted it again.

For tp_smapi I found these instructions:

Installation on Ubuntu: Ubuntu ships tp_smapi in their linux-ubuntu-modules-* package for Hardy, so you don't have to build it yourself. Please note that they have renamed tp_smapi's modified hdaps module to hdaps_ec so that the two can coexist. You should load hdaps_ec, not hdaps.

What on earth does this mean?

Is there any program which is user-friendly to people whose computer knowledge is very basic and which can be run as a program on Ubuntu where I can easily see and alter the settings?

Or is there an easy-to-follow guide to use for the tlp program?

This was too long for a comment: Now I have tried it out for a few days and there are three options: 1. It isn't working, 2. The information I see in the power statistics (when I click the battery icon in the upper right corner of my screen) is all wrong, 3. I am unable to read mentioned information. Here is what is shown in the power statistics: the percentage of the battery power stays the same all day, as do the "minutes to charge". It changes slightly in between suspend modes. Two days ago, it was on 46% the whole time, then after I'd had the system suspended for some time, it was on 44 %. Also the minutes changed. Today it has shown 52 % and 17 minutes, then after some time in suspend mode it now shows 51 % and 25 minutes, not changing. What is shown changes if I unplug the pc and plug it back in. When I click the power statistics details, the main battery (BATT0) tells me 0 seconds time to full and 0 seconds time to empty, the BATT1 says the minutes shown in the corner as its time to full. This information changes in between I suspend / shut down / unplug the computer. For both of the batteries it always says "charging" when plugged in. In short, it seems all wrong. Please help? Thank you.

  • Don't be scared of building things and terminal, sometimes it easier than some other methods. The github page you found I think may be too old, but what thresholds do you want to set? (and are you dual-booting with Windowz)? – Wilf Nov 7 '15 at 17:04
  • The terminal is intimidating at first, but I will sure try it out and I want to get comfortable with it. BUT I need explanations I can follow. No Windowz on my laptop, nope. – dunya Nov 7 '15 at 18:15
  • please show the contents of /etc/default/tlp in question – Edward Torvalds Nov 12 '15 at 15:01

Please stop messing around with kernel modules by hand and stay away from way outdated instructions for Hardy. All things needed are available as packages from either the Ubuntu repos (15.10) or the TLP PPA.

Install TLP as described here. You may omit the tp-smapi-dkms package as tp-smapi is incompatible with the X250.

Modify TLP's configuration to include your desired charge thresholds, Example here. Don't forget to remove the leading #'s from these lines.

To activate the thresholds use

sudo tlp start

Show the output of

sudo tlp-stat -s -c -b 
  • For 15.10 (my version) the only thing it says on linrunner is "TLP and ThinkPad-related packages below are available via the official Ubuntu repository." which i searched for. Is this where I should go: launchpad.net/ubuntu/+source/tlp ? And should I then click 0.8-1 to download the package for 15.10? Thank you. – dunya Nov 7 '15 at 19:47
  • 1
    Open a Terminal and enter the command sudo apt-get install tlp tlp-rdw acpi-call-dkms – linrunner Nov 7 '15 at 21:05
  • Thank you. It is installed and I can see the output in the terminal. But how do I change the thresholds? And how do I set tlp to switch between batteries? What I want to do is discharge my removable 6-cell to 10%, then switch over to the internal 3-cell and discharge that one also to 10% before starting the cycles over again. Also, how do I see which battery is currently being charged/discharged? And finally, when I have it all set up, does this just run automatically? Can I simply leave my pc plugged in and each battery will only charge when it's supposed to? – dunya Nov 8 '15 at 15:27
  • I have tried entering this: START_CHARGE_THRESH_BAT0=10 STOP_CHARGE_THRESH_BAT0=90 which is what I found on linrunner.de/en/tlp/docs/… under "Thinkpads only". Nothing happens. – dunya Nov 8 '15 at 15:39
  • These are not commands but config lines. It's explained at the top of the configuration page: 1. fire up the editor gksudo gedit /etc/default/tlp, 2. scroll down until you see the first relevant line START_CHARGE_THRESH_BAT0, 3. edit the four lines to your wishes, 4. don't forget to remove the leading #'s, 5. save the file, 6. issue the terminal command sudo tlp start and you're done – linrunner Nov 8 '15 at 19:51

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