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Netbook questions

Posted: Sat Oct 23, 2010 9:50 pm
by Tommyss4l
I have been running linux for almost two years now, and I've always run desktop versions. I tried Ubuntu's netbook remix but I didn't like not having a desktop. Now that I am running my computer at school on battery power, I am trying to extend my battery life. Is there a version of linux out there, mint or otherwise, that will help with my problem?
I've got a Zareason Terra A20 running an atom processor, 2 GB of RAM, and a 500 GB HD with linux mint 9 desktop.

Re: Netbook questions

Posted: Sun Oct 24, 2010 12:47 am
by 1002richards
I know you're not using Ubuntu netbook edition, but in section 2 of this link there's a useful app for battery life called PowerTop. Hope it's astarting point at least: ... guide.html


Re: Netbook questions

Posted: Sun Oct 24, 2010 12:55 am
by vincent
The easiest way to improve battery life is not to change to another Linux distro, but to work with your hardware; simply dim your laptop's backlight and disable hardware components that you don't use in your BIOS (especially bluetooth). Also avoid using any external devices while on battery power, e.g. don't try to watch DVDs, because your CD/DVD drive will soak up a lot of power when in use. Set your computer to sleep whenever you're not using it. If your CPU supports dynamic frequency scaling, e.g. Intel's Speedstep, you can use that to underclock your CPU when you don't need full processing power, and save battery power (and produce less heat while you're at it).

Re: Netbook questions

Posted: Sun Oct 24, 2010 1:08 am
by bigBuckets
I agree with Vincent. I've tried a lot of different distros on my netbook and there hasn't been a drastic change in battery life from one to the next. However, I do like lightweight distros that require less RAM such as Mint LXDE, Peppermint OS, or Lubuntu.

Re: Netbook questions

Posted: Sun Oct 24, 2010 3:10 am
by linmint777
it is best to install debian netinstall and continuing to build only the packages you need.
adventure is hard but when you get to polish your debian to your liking, satisfaction and performance are guaranteed.

Re: Netbook questions

Posted: Sun Oct 24, 2010 11:54 am
by sgosnell
I run standard desktop distros on my netbook, both LMDE and Ubuntu, without issues. I don't like the netbook remixes at all, so I don't use them. The only thing you get with a netbook remix is a different desktop interface. Power settings are separate. You can dim the display, underclock your CPU, and other things to increase battery life. You can also buy a replacement high-capacity battery if you really want to increase life, but it will be bigger and heavier. Everything is a tradeoff of some sort.

Re: Netbook questions

Posted: Tue Oct 26, 2010 3:46 am
by jesica
LXDE do not use so many resourches han GNOME and KDE

that is way LXED will better battery life,

also try not to use your charger the whole time if you can

and change then some settings at the power use like they explained here before

and the darker the wallpaper the less battery it use, and also try not to use a screensaver

Re: Netbook questions

Posted: Tue Oct 26, 2010 11:12 am
by Gramps50
I use powertop on all my laptops/netbooks and would recommend it, my Gateway netbook will go about 5 hrs with normal usage.

Code: Select all

sudo apt-get install powertop
then run it from a terminal

Code: Select all

sudo powertop
I just use the defaults that it suggest and haven't had a problem just longer battery life

Re: Netbook questions

Posted: Thu Oct 28, 2010 4:00 pm
by Tommyss4l
Thanks for all the input. I'll try power top and see how that works.

Re: Netbook questions

Posted: Sat Oct 30, 2010 7:59 am
by Tenzy
I'm new to linux. Just put mint on my netbook. Tried 9 but it had too much trouble so I'm running 10rc now.
And now I'm looking into making it run best. So I searched for how to get better battery life and saw this thread. I did that powertop command. But as I said, I'm new to linux. What am I supposed to do after the second command? Leave the terminal open or close it? Do I need to do the powertop command every time after I boot up my netbook to make sure it's running?

Sorry for the beginner question. Hope you understand that everybody needs to start somewhere. :)

What I found helped with battery life is setting visual effects in appearance preferences to none. (I think..) (you can find it under change desktop background when you right click on the desktop) So that might be a tip for others,

How do you underclock your CPU?
I am going to google it, don't worry, but if someone would be so nice to help me out it would be very much appreciated.
I don't know this sort of stuff but want to learn. People always do it for you when you're a woman. But I decided to not let them any more and learn everything for myself, starting with Linux Mint. :)

Re: Netbook questions

Posted: Sun Oct 31, 2010 8:43 pm
by vincent
Powertop is just a program that lets you monitor exactly what is using up the most power on your computer. When you run powertop in a terminal, at the bottom of the screen it'll give you 3 options most of the time; Q to quit, R to refresh, and a 3rd letter to take an action recommended by powertop that'll supposedly save battery life. Press the corresponding letter on your keyboard to take the action you want.

If your CPU supports something like Intel's SpeedStep, i.e. dynamic frequency scaling, Linux Mint will automatically underclock it for you. To see this in action, right click on your Gnome panel, select "Add to panel...", and choose "CPU Frequency Scaling Monitor". Failing that, there should be an option in your computer's BIOS to over-/under-clock your CPU. If none of the above works, then you probably won't be able to change the frequency of your CPU.

Re: Netbook questions

Posted: Mon Nov 01, 2010 12:34 pm
by Tenzy

I've got CPU Frequency Scaling Monitor on my panel now and it says CPU 0 - Ondemand 1 Ghz (59%) .
Does that mean that it's underclocked properly?

I have a Asus Eee Pc 1015 PE with 1,66 Ghz processor (I think)

I've got powertop running in the terminal and it's giving me all kinds of options to do. I don't know what they mean though. (English and Computer are only my second and third language.)
Enable USB autosuspend for non-input devices by pressing the U key.
I did that and everything USB still works but moments later I was told to do it again.

This is what it looks like, maybe someone can tell me what it means.

Wakeups-from-idle per second : 941,6 interval: 10,0s
Power usage (ACPI estimate): 7,8W (7,0 hours) (long term: 9,3W,/5,9h)

Top causes for wakeups:
28,4% (122,7) [kernel scheduler] Load balancing tick
24,8% (107,2) plugin-containe
12,6% ( 54,6) USB device 3-1 : USB Receiver (Logitech)
10,1% ( 43,7) firefox-bin
7,9% ( 34,1) [uhci_hcd:usb3] <interrupt>
4,6% ( 20,0) [ath9k] <interrupt>
Suggestion: Enable USB autosuspend for non-input devices by pressing the U key

Re: Netbook questions

Posted: Sat Nov 06, 2010 2:26 am
by mistywindow
Nobody's mentioned the obvious: I bought a big fat extra battery for my HP Mini and stopped worrying about power saving. Bright screen, nothing disabled, Mint 10 RS, 10 hours plus of life.



Re: Netbook questions

Posted: Fri Nov 12, 2010 6:10 am
by ander111
Tenzy wrote:I've got CPU Frequency Scaling Monitor on my panel now and it says CPU 0 - Ondemand 1 Ghz (59%) .
Does that mean that it's underclocked properly?
Yes. The "59%" means that your CPU is running at 59% of its usual speed. If you click CPU FSM's icon again, you should see a list of the available speed settings. The top setting is your CPU's full speed.