If you’re a Linux user, particularly with Ubuntu 20.04, you might have noticed that your laptop’s battery life isn’t as long as you’d like it to be. This article will provide you with a detailed guide on how to improve your battery life using various tips and recommended power-saving software.
To improve battery life on Ubuntu 20.04, you can install and configure TLP, an advanced power management tool for Linux. Additionally, you can disable the discrete GPU, lower the screen refresh rate and brightness, utilize integrated graphics, and use "Quiet mode" on Lenovo laptops if available. These measures can help extend your laptop’s battery life.
Understanding Power Consumption
Before we delve into the solutions, it’s essential to understand what consumes power on your device. The main power-consuming components are the CPU, GPU, screen (particularly the brightness level), WiFi, and Bluetooth. Managing these components effectively can help extend your battery life.
Installing TLP: Your Power Management Solution
TLP is an advanced power management tool for Linux that can help manage these components effectively. It comes with a default configuration already optimized for battery life.
To install TLP, open a terminal and run the following command:
sudo apt install tlp tlp-rdw
This command uses the
apt package handling utility to install the TLP software (
tlp) and the optional Radio Device Wizard (
tlp-rdw), which manages your WiFi and Bluetooth connections.
After installing TLP, you need to start the service:
sudo tlp start
This command starts the TLP service immediately. After a reboot, TLP will start automatically.
Checking TLP’s Status
To ensure that TLP is running correctly, you can check its status:
sudo systemctl status tlp.service
This command uses
systemctl, a system and service manager, to check the status of the
tlp.service. If TLP is running correctly, you should see an output indicating that TLP is active and enabled.
Other Power-Saving Measures
In addition to TLP, there are several other measures you can take to improve your battery life:
Disable the Discrete GPU
If your laptop has both a discrete GPU and an integrated GPU, you can disable the discrete GPU to save power. However, be aware that this may cause video driver issues. It is recommended to research and proceed with caution.
Lower Screen Refresh Rate
Lowering the screen refresh rate can significantly improve battery life. You can use the
xrandr commands to create a custom refresh rate.
Lower Screen Brightness
Reducing the screen brightness can help conserve power. Additionally, turn off the keyboard backlight when not needed.
Utilize Integrated Graphics
If your laptop has a MUX switch through BIOS, switch to integrated graphics. You can also check Nvidia’s X-Server settings to switch to the integrated GPU.
Use “Quiet Mode” on Lenovo Laptops
If your Lenovo laptop supports it, use the “Quiet mode” in the Vantage Software. This mode draws less power from the CPU and can improve battery life.
Improving battery life on Ubuntu 20.04 involves managing power-consuming components effectively. TLP is an excellent tool for this, and other measures such as managing screen brightness and refresh rate, utilizing integrated graphics, and using “Quiet mode” on Lenovo laptops can also help. Remember that it may take a few days to observe the full effect of these optimizations on your battery life. Always backup your important data and proceed with caution when making any system changes.
TLP is an advanced power management tool for Linux that helps manage power-consuming components such as the CPU, GPU, screen brightness, WiFi, and Bluetooth to optimize battery life.
To install TLP, open a terminal and run the command
sudo apt install tlp tlp-rdw. This command will install TLP and the optional Radio Device Wizard, which manages WiFi and Bluetooth connections.
After installing TLP, you can start the service by running the command
sudo tlp start in the terminal. After a reboot, TLP will start automatically.
You can check the status of the TLP service by running the command
sudo systemctl status tlp.service. If TLP is running correctly, the output will indicate that TLP is active and enabled.
In addition to using TLP, you can take other measures such as disabling the discrete GPU, lowering the screen refresh rate and brightness, utilizing integrated graphics, and using "Quiet mode" on Lenovo laptops to improve battery life.
Lowering the screen refresh rate does not significantly affect the display quality. However, it can help conserve power and improve battery life.
Yes, you can switch back to the discrete GPU after disabling it. However, it is recommended to research and proceed with caution as it may cause video driver issues.
It may take a few days to observe the full effect of these optimizations on your battery life. Monitor your battery usage over time to assess the improvements.
It is always recommended to backup your important data before making any system changes. While the optimizations mentioned are generally safe, it’s better to be cautious and have a backup in case of any unforeseen issues.