Laptop Mode Tools

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Summary help replacing me
Overview of the Laptop Mode Tools power management suite for notebooks.
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Less Watts - Official Site

Laptop Mode Tools is a laptop power saving package for Linux systems. It is the primary way to enable the Laptop Mode feature of the Linux kernel, which lets your hard drive spin down. In addition, it allows you to tweak a number of other power-related settings using a simple configuration file.

Combined with acpid and CPU frequency scaling, LMT provides most users with a complete notebook power management suite.

Installation

laptop-mode-tools can be installed from the official repositories.

Configuration

Enable the laptop-mode service:

# systemctl enable laptop-mode.service

Configuration is handled through:

  • /etc/laptop-mode/laptop-mode.conf - primary configuration file
  • /etc/laptop-mode/conf.d/* - dozens of feature-specific "modules".

Each module can be explicitly enabled/disabled by changing the CONTROL_* value in the individual settings file found in conf.d/*.

If ENABLE_AUTO_MODULES is set in /etc/laptop-mode/laptop-mode.conf, LMT will automatically enable any modules where CONTROL_* is set to auto.

If you want to check which modules are enabled, disabled or auto, run:

$ grep -r '^\(CONTROL\|ENABLE\)_' /etc/laptop-mode/conf.d
Note: auto-hibernate.conf and battery-level-polling.conf are an exception and use an ENABLE_* variable instead of CONTROL_*.

Hard disks

For this you need to have hdparm and/or sdparm installed. See Hdparm.

Spinning down the hard drive through hdparm -S values saves power and makes everything a lot more quiet. By using the readahead function you can allow the drives to spin down more often even though you are using the computer. LMT can also establish hdparm -B values. The maximum hard drive power saving is 1 and the minimum is 254. Set this value to 254 when on AC and 1 when on battery. If you find that normal activity hangs often while waiting for the disk to spin up, it might be a good idea to set it to a higher value (eg. 128) which will make it spin down less often. hdparm -S and hdparm -B values are configured in /etc/laptop-mode/laptop-mode.conf.

Tango-view-fullscreen.pngThis article or section needs expansion.Tango-view-fullscreen.png

Reason: Please can someone add info on how to treat SSD disks with laptommode-tools? As, to my knowledge, readahead is useless for them (zero read time, just does wear out), and spin down most likely as well. (Discuss in Talk:Laptop Mode Tools#)

With the CONTROL_MOUNT_OPTIONS variable (default on), laptop-mode-tools automatically remounts your partitions, appending 'commit=600,noatime' in the mount options. This keeps the journaling program jbd2 from accessing your disc every few seconds, instead the disc journal gets updated every 10 minutes (BEWARE: with this setting you could lose up to 10 minutes of work). Also be sure not to use the atime mount option, use noatime or relatime instead.

Note: CONTROL_MOUNT_OPTIONS should not be turned on with nilfs2 partitions (see this thread on the forum https://bbs.archlinux.org/viewtopic.php?id=134656)

CPU frequency

For this you need to have a CPU frequency driver installed. See CPU Frequency Scaling.

# cpufreq.conf
# ThinkPad T40/T42/T60 Example
#
CONTROL_CPU_FREQUENCY=1
BATT_CPU_MAXFREQ=fastest
BATT_CPU_MINFREQ=slowest
BATT_CPU_GOVERNOR=ondemand
BATT_CPU_IGNORE_NICE_LOAD=1
LM_AC_CPU_MAXFREQ=fastest
LM_AC_CPU_MINFREQ=slowest
LM_AC_CPU_GOVERNOR=ondemand
LM_AC_CPU_IGNORE_NICE_LOAD=1
NOLM_AC_CPU_MAXFREQ=fastest
NOLM_AC_CPU_MINFREQ=slowest
NOLM_AC_CPU_GOVERNOR=ondemand
NOLM_AC_CPU_IGNORE_NICE_LOAD=0
CONTROL_CPU_THROTTLING=0

Device and bus

Intel SATA

  • Enable the Intel SATA AHCI controller Aggressive Link Power Management feature to set the disk link into a very low power mode in the absence of disk IO.
# intel-sata-powermgmt.conf
# ThinkPad T40/T42/T60 Example
#
DEBUG=0
CONTROL_INTEL_SATA_POWER=1
BATT_ACTIVATE_SATA_POWER=1
LM_AC_ACTIVATE_SATA_POWER=1
NOLM_AC_ACTIVATE_SATA_POWER=0
Note: Review the well-documented /etc/laptop-mode/conf.d/intel-sata-powermgmt.conf file for additional configuration details.

USB autosuspend

# usb-autosuspend.conf
# ThinkPad T40/T42/T60 Example
#
DEBUG=0
CONTROL_USB_AUTOSUSPEND=1
BATT_SUSPEND_USB=1
LM_AC_SUSPEND_USB=1
NOLM_AC_SUSPEND_USB=0
AUTOSUSPEND_TIMEOUT=2
Note: Review the well-documented /etc/laptop-mode/conf.d/usb-autosuspend.conf file for additional configuration details. If you have an USB tool you always use (like an USB mouse), blacklisting them would stop them from suspending.

Display and graphics

LCD brightness

  • Available brightness values for certain laptops can be obtained by running following command:
$ cat /proc/acpi/video/VID/LCD/brightness
ThinkPad T40/T42

For ThinkPad T40/T42 notebooks, minimum and maximum brightness values can be obtained by running:

$ cat /sys/class/backlight/acpi_video0/brightness
$ cat /sys/class/backlight/acpi_video0/max_brightness
# lcd-brightness.conf
# ThinkPad T40/T42 Example
#
DEBUG=0
CONTROL_BRIGHTNESS=1
BATT_BRIGHTNESS_COMMAND="echo 0"
LM_AC_BRIGHTNESS_COMMAND="echo 7"
NOLM_AC_BRIGHTNESS_COMMAND="echo 7"
BRIGHTNESS_OUTPUT="/sys/class/backlight/thinkpad_screen/brightness"
ThinkPad T60
  • For ThinkPad T60 notebooks, minimum and maximum brightness values can be obtained by running:
$ cat /sys/class/backlight/thinkpad_screen/max_brightness
$ cat /sys/class/backlight/thinkpad_screen/brightness
# lcd-brightness.conf
# ThinkPad T60 Example
#
DEBUG=0
CONTROL_BRIGHTNESS=1
BATT_BRIGHTNESS_COMMAND="echo 0"
LM_AC_BRIGHTNESS_COMMAND="echo 7"
NOLM_AC_BRIGHTNESS_COMMAND="echo 7"
BRIGHTNESS_OUTPUT="/sys/class/backlight/acpi_video0/brightness"
Note: Review the well-documented /etc/laptop-mode/conf.d/lcd-brightness.conf file for additional configuration details.

Terminal blanking

# terminal-blanking.conf
# ThinkPad T40/T42/T60 Example
#
DEBUG=0
CONTROL_TERMINAL=1
TERMINALS="/dev/tty1"
BATT_TERMINAL_BLANK_MINUTES=1
BATT_TERMINAL_POWERDOWN_MINUTES=2
LM_AC_TERMINAL_BLANK_MINUTES=10
LM_AC_TERMINAL_POWERDOWN_MINUTES=10
NOLM_AC_TERMINAL_BLANK_MINUTES=10
NOLM_AC_TERMINAL_POWERDOWN_MINUTES=10
Note: Review the well-documented /etc/laptop-mode/conf.d/terminal-blanking.conf file for additional configuration details.

Networking

Ethernet

# ethernet.conf
# ThinkPad T40/T42/T60 Example
#
DEBUG=0
CONTROL_ETHERNET=1
LM_AC_THROTTLE_ETHERNET=0
NOLM_AC_THROTTLE_ETHERNET=0
DISABLE_WAKEUP_ON_LAN=1
DISABLE_ETHERNET_ON_BATTERY=1
ETHERNET_DEVICES="eth0"

Wireless LAN

Wireless interface power management settings are hardware-dependent, and thus a bit trickier to configure. Depending on the wireless chipset, the settings are managed in one of the following three files:

  1. /etc/laptop-mode/conf.d/wireless-power.conf for a generic method of saving power (using "iwconfig wlan0 power on/off"). This applies to most chipsets (that is, anything but Intel chipsets listed below).
  2. /etc/laptop-mode/conf.d/wireless-ipw-power.conf for Intel chipsets driven by the old ipw driver. This apply to IPW3945, IPW2200 and IPW2100. It currently (as of LMT 1.55-1) uses iwpriv for IPW3945, and a combination of iwconfig and iwpriv settings for IPW2100 and IPW220. See /usr/share/laptop-mode-tools/modules/wireless-ipw-power for details. (note that the ipw3945 is not used anymore, see below)
  3. /etc/laptop-mode/conf.d/wireless-iwl-power.conf for Intel chipsets driven by modules iwl4965, iwl3945 and iwlagn (this latter supports chipsets 4965, 5100, 5300, 5350, 5150, 1000, and 6000)

Note that activating the three of them should not be much of a problem, since LMT detects the module used by the interface and acts accordingly.

The supported modules for each configuration file, indicated above, are taken directly from LMT. However, this seems to be a bit out-of-date, since the current 2.6.34 kernel does not provide the ipw3945 and iwl4965 modules anymore (3945 chipset uses iwl3945 instead, and 4965 uses the generic module iwlagn). This is only brought here for information, as this does not (or should not) affect the way LMT works.

There is a known issue with some chipsets running with the iwlagn module (namely, the 5300 chipset, and maybe others). On those chipsets, the following settings of /etc/laptop-mode/conf.d/wireless-iwl-power.conf:

IWL_AC_POWER
IWL_BATT_POWER

are ignored, because the /sys/class/net/wlan*/device/power_level file does not exist. Instead, the standard method (with "iwconfig wlan0 power on/off") is automatically used.

Audio

AC97

# ac97-powersave.conf
# ThinkPad T40/T42/T60 Example
#
DEBUG=0
CONTROL_AC97_POWER=1

Intel HDA

# intel-hda-powersave.conf
# ThinkPad T40/T42/T60 Example
#
DEBUG=0
CONTROL_INTEL_HDA_POWER=1
BATT_INTEL_HDA_POWERSAVE=1
LM_AC_INTEL_HDA_POWERSAVE=1
NOLM_AC_INTEL_HDA_POWERSAVE=0
INTEL_HDA_DEVICE_TIMEOUT=10
INTEL_HDA_DEVICE_CONTROLLER=0

Tips and tricks

Aliases

lm-profiler

Disabling

Troubleshooting

Laptop-mode-tools is not picking up events

You need to install and enable acpid. Enable the acpid systemd service with:

# systemctl enable acpid.service

If that does not help, go through the laptop-mode configuration files and make sure that the service you want to enable is set to 1. Many services (including cpufreq control) are by default set to "auto", which may not enable them.

I have experienced issues with bluetooth not working if i boot up with battery, and i fixed it with disabling runtime-pm.

Laptop-mode-tools does not disable on AC

It is possible if you have both laptop-mode-tools and pm-utils installed, they can conflict with each other, causing laptop-mode-tools to not properly set its state.

This can be fixed by disabling scripts with duplicate functionality in pm-utils. The main cause of this particular issue is the laptop-mode script located in /usr/lib/pm-utils/power.d. You can stop any unwanted hooks from running by creating a dummy file in /etc/pm/power.d with the same name as the corresponding /usr/lib/pm-utils/power.d hook. For example if you want to disable the laptop-mode hook:

# touch /etc/pm/power.d/laptop-mode
Note: Do not set the executable bit on that dummy-hook.

Its recommended to disable any hook that has equivalent functionality in LMT.