I would like my laptop to hibernate itself when the battery level is 10% to be sure it has enough power to complete the operation properly. Actually if I don't pay attention my laptop informs me it will hibernate when it's too late, so instead it brutally shuts down. This kills lithium batteries and is not acceptable.

  • The approved answer above does not work on Ubuntu 12.04. Jun 25, 2016 at 21:03
  • 2
    what works is hackerb9's answer. Tested on ubuntu 16.04
    – user47206
    Sep 16, 2016 at 7:40

2 Answers 2

  1. Start dconf-editor
  2. Browse to org -> gnome -> settings-daemon -> plugins -> power
  3. Change the values of percentage-critical and percentage-action to the level you require
  4. Change use-time-for-policy to false
  5. Done!

You can also do this from a terminal with:

gsettings set org.gnome.settings-daemon.plugins.power percentage-critical 10
gsettings set org.gnome.settings-daemon.plugins.power percentage-action 9
gsettings set org.gnome.settings-daemon.plugins.power use-time-for-policy false
  • 3
    Thanks. Ubuntu will not cost me 100s of dollars now FFS.
    – Salman
    Jul 26, 2013 at 12:26
  • Tried this and having problem If you know how to solve this please let us know
    – Waqas
    Mar 7, 2014 at 14:10
  • 2
    How to do it for 16.04 ? Jun 10, 2016 at 21:35
  • 1
    @AnmolSinghJaggi - have you noticed the other answer?
    – user47206
    Sep 14, 2016 at 9:44
  • 1
    this doesn't work on ubuntu 20.04 to get a pop-up notification when the battery level gets low. But hackerb9's solution below works!
    – NeStack
    May 20, 2021 at 22:27

Looks like Gnome moved the settings. Critically low battery is now handled by UPower. Instead of using gsettings, you should now edit the file /etc/UPower/UPower.conf


By the way, if you read the UPower.conf file, upower used to (in v 0.99.1) only suggest using percentages in order to work around broken firmware. The default was UsePercentageForPolicy=false, which used the battery's time estimate. That makes some sense since, as a battery gets older, it lasts shorter for any given percentage. A fixed percentage that worked previously might at some point no longer allow the laptop enough time to hibernate properly.

However, it looks like upower now (v 0.99.4) is defaulting to percentages and has a cryptic message about the reasoning. I don't know which is best, but here's how to use time remaining for your battery policy, if you so desire.


Note that Suspend/Sleep as such is not supported by the Upower tool, that HybridSleep is used instead (which looks much like Sleep, but is also close to Hibernation) and that HybridSleep (just like Hibernation) needs a swap space to work. On how to create one in case you don't have it, see this answer.

  • 5
    You can do sudo systemctl restart upower.service to apply the settings.
    – Florian
    Feb 27, 2019 at 18:31
  • 1
    the upower.conf mentions warning, and "upower -d" at CLI one of the items listed is "warning-level" and by default its value is "none". I would like very much to get some kind of warning before the notebook does a shutdown. Is the upower.conf options documented somewhere that might show how to set a warning level?
    – alabamatoy
    Jan 14, 2020 at 19:08
  • 1
    @alabamatoy did you have any luck with getting a warning?
    – lucidbrot
    Dec 24, 2020 at 0:29
  • 1
    I find it "interesting" that Upower.conf starts with such a comment: # Only the system vendor should modify this file, ordinary users should not have to change anything.
    – Levente
    Dec 26, 2020 at 15:12
  • 1
    In Ubuntu 20.04, it appears the default is now UsePercentageForPolicy=true (unless another program modified my config since the initial OS install) Dec 15, 2021 at 15:53

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