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8 Steps guide to Improve battery life on Linux laptop

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Desktop Linux doesn’t have the best reputation when it comes to laptop battery life (or ‘power efficiency’ if you’d rather).

A laptop that might push 8 hours with Windows 10 might struggle to hit 4 hours with Ubuntu.

Quite why this is the case is a complex, caveated, and contentious issues. But given the multitude of laptops and PC set-ups out there that the Linux kernel has to support, it’s not surprising either.

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Linux users’ propensity to extend the lives of older hardware — equipment whose battery packs have seen a fair few cycles — could also play a factor.

Don’t misunderstand me though. Linux is super power efficient when it is fine tuned to the hardware it is running on, as seen with Chrome OS, Android, Tizen, Ubuntu Phone and Sailfish OS.

But running an off-the-disc OS with a catch-all configuration means you may need to do a bit more tweaking yourself to improve battery life on Linux.

So here’s a few tips that will help extend battery life both when it’s dwindling down and before and keep the power cord at bay in the process.

1. Set Ubuntu’s Built-In Power Settings

Ubuntu Power Settings

You bought a powerful laptop and you want to use that power. But use it when it’s needed; when you’re just browsing Reddit on the sofa, or trolling us from a café don’t need to have your fans working overtime.

Ubuntu includes a small set of power behaviour settings than you can adjust to suit your needs. E.g., what to do when you close the laptop lid, what to do when battery is critically low, and how to behave you’re plugged in to AC power.

  • Open ‘System Settings’
  • Select the ‘Power’ icon
  • Adjust settings to suit your needs
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