Intel has created a new website helping Linux users to reduce the power consumption of a computer (especially useful for laptops): www.lesswatts.org. On this page many tips and tools helping to save electricity (and therefore get longer battery life) are provided. During the next days (weeks?) I will do some tests and improvements on my laptop and tell you about the results.
Today I would like to start with the installation of PowerTOP, a tool helping to find out how badly the computer is configured and which software is consuming most of the power. It can be downloaded from www.lesswatts.org. Unfortunately it has not yet been integrated into the Ubuntu package system and there are currently no
.deb files available. Thus you have to download and compile it yourself to install it – but that’s easy:
- Download it.
- Unpack it by typing
tar -xzf powertop-1.8.tar.gzin a terminal.
- Enter the folder:
- On Debian/Ubuntu install
sudo apt-get install libncursesw5-dev
make. The program compiles, this is done in a few seconds. If you get the following error
/usr/bin/ld: cannot find -lncursesw
collect2: ld returned 1 exit status
make: *** [powertop] Error 1
you have forgotten to install libncursesw5-dev in the previous step. Do it and retype
sudo make install(it is important that this be done as root/sudo!).
- Start PowerTop
After being started, the program will tell you how often the CPU is woken up per second and give suggestions how you can improve the situation. In my case there are currently between 400 and 600 wakeups per second – in the best case three (3) are enough. Thus, my computer is wasting a lot of energy.
To achieve good results, a kernel of version 2.6.21 or later has to be installed. This also activates all functionalities of PowerTop.
In the next post we will install the new kernel on Ubuntu Feisty.