[Techtalk] tune Linux for battery life?

Mick Timony madra at gis.net
Mon Nov 25 20:50:47 EST 2002

I don't own a laptop, but I've heard that the biggest power muncher are
hard drives. Your drive(s) may not be set to power down when they're

You can use the hdparm command to set the time in seconds that your hard
drive will go to sleep, on my system at home i have it set to 1/2 an
hour. From the man page:

       -S     Set the standby (spindown) timeout for  the  drive.
              This  value  is  used by the drive to determine how
              long to wait (with no disk activity) before turning
              off  the  spindle  motor to save power.  Under such
              circumstances, the drive may take  as  long  as  30
              seconds  to  respond  to  a subsequent disk access,
              though most drives are much quicker.  The  encoding
              of the timeout value is somewhat peculiar.  A value
              of zero means "off".  Values from 1 to 240  specify
              multiples of 5 seconds, for timeouts from 5 seconds
              to 20 minutes.  Values from 241 to 251 specify from
              1  to  11 units of 30 minutes, for timeouts from 30
              minutes to 5.5 hours.  A value of 252  signifies  a
              timeout  of  21  minutes, 253 sets a vendor-defined
              timeout, and 255 is interpreted as 21 minutes  plus
              15 second

For a laptop, I'd probably set it to 5 or 10 minutes:
hdparm -S 60 (your drive here) will make it sleep after 5 minutes.

If your not sure what  device is, e-mail the list.

Additionally, your could see if the Laptop-HOWTO at linuxdoc.org has any
info about turning on power saving..


> --__--__--
> Message: 5
> Date: Mon, 25 Nov 2002 10:00:21 -0800 (PST)
> From: Annalee Newitz <brainsploitation at yahoo.com>
> Reply-To: annalee at techsploitation.com
> To: techtalk at linuxchix.org
> Subject: [Techtalk] tune Linux for battery life?
> Hi chix. I need help tuning Linux to make my laptop
> battery live longer. My Vaio used to run WinME
> (bleah), and when it did that my extra-big battery
> lasted about 6 hours. Now that I've upgraded to Linux,
> it runs for about 2 hours. Ack! There must be some
> tricks for getting my battery to run longer. 
> I'm running RedHat 7.3, with the 2.4.18-5 kernel, and
> the Vaio laptop is a 505. It's got a Pentium III chip.
> Any ideas or pointers? 
> Annalee
> =====
> Annalee Newitz
> tech * pop * sex
> 415.487.2559 - cell: 415.378.4498
> www.techsploitation.com

-------------- next part --------------
A non-text attachment was scrubbed...
Name: not available
Type: application/pgp-signature
Size: 189 bytes
Desc: This is a digitally signed message part
Url : http://linuxchix.org/pipermail/techtalk/attachments/20021125/bc4acd28/attachment.pgp

More information about the Techtalk mailing list