[Fwd: [announce] Intel announces the PowerTOP utility for Linux]

Kok, Auke sofar at foo-projects.org
Tue May 15 16:56:31 CEST 2007


My colleague here at Intel released this interesting tool that lets you monitor 
what kind of applications are causing your battery life to suck. All that is 
needed to use is a 2.6.21 kernel with CONFIG_NO_HZ set ("Tickless").

I've done some monitoring on a fairly standard Xfce desktop and come to the 
conclusion that Xfce is already extremely good for mobile use (the biggest 
'default' wakeup source from withing xfce is xfce-mc-manager with a constant 2/3 
wakeups per second, far far less than some of the big offenders.

I encourage everyone to look at powertop and run it on their Xfce desktop so we 
can continue to make Xfce the best desktop for laptops ;) It will be interesting 
to monitor all the goodies and extra applications that Xfce has, and make Xfce 
very robust in this perspective.



-------- Original Message --------
Subject: [announce] Intel announces the PowerTOP utility for Linux
Date: Fri, 11 May 2007 16:07:18 -0700
From: Arjan van de Ven <arjan at linux.intel.com>
To: Linux Kernel Mailing List <linux-kernel at vger.kernel.org>
CC: linux-acpi at vger.kernel.org

What's eating the battery life of my laptop? Why isn't it many more
hours? Which software component causes the most power to be burned?
These are important questions without a good answer... until now.

The Linux 2.6.21 kernel introduces the so called tickless-idle
feature. This feature allows the processor to be really idle for long
periods of time, rather than having to wake up every millisecond for
the timer tick. Current processors save a lot of power if they are
idle for long periods, which translates into a longer battery life for
your laptop, or a lower energy bill for your datacenter. However, a
Linux system consists of more software than just the kernel, and there
are many tunables involved. It's not easy to see what is going on, and
as a result the behavior is sometimes far from optimal, and a lot of
power is wasted.

Intel is proud to announce the PowerTOP tool
(http://www.linuxpowertop.org), a program that collects the various
pieces of information from your system and presents an overview of how
well your laptop is doing in terms of power savings. In addition,
PowerTOP will provide an indication of which tunables and software
components are the biggest offenders in slurping up your battery time.
PowerTOP will update it's display frequently so that you can directly
see the impact of any changes you are making.

A typical Linux distribution has many components that wake the
processor up frequently for no good reason. In our testing with
PowerTOP, we have seen many cases where with some simple fixes, the
battery life of typical laptops was increased by one hour or more!

We are providing fixes for several of the issues we identified, and we
encourage the Linux community to help us in this quest to get the
maximum battery life out of your (hopefully Intel based) laptops. Try
the PowerTOP tool, join the mailing list or the IRC channel and
provide feedback, problem reports or fixes!

Website:      http://www.linuxpowertop.org
IRC:          irc.oftc.net    #powertop channel
Mailing list: http://www.bughost.org/mailman/listinfo/power
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