Power management

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zh-CN:Power Management Template:Article summary start Template:Article summary text Template:Article summary heading Template:Article summary wiki Template:Article summary wiki Template:Article summary wiki Template:Article summary end The purpose of this page is to provide general overview of power management in Arch Linux. As Arch Linux uses systemd as system manager, this article focuses on it.

There are multiple places where one can change power management settings:

There are also many power management tools:

Note: Power settings you set in one place/tool could be overwritten in another place/tool.

Power management with systemd

ACPI events

systemd handles some power-related ACPI events. They can be configured via the following options from /etc/systemd/logind.conf:

  • HandlePowerKey: specifies which action is invoked when the power key is pressed.
  • HandleSuspendKey: specifies which action is invoked when the suspend key is pressed.
  • HandleHibernateKey: specifies which action is invoked when the hibernate key is pressed.
  • HandleLidSwitch: specifies which action is invoked when the lid is closed.

The specified action can be one of ignore, poweroff, reboot, halt, suspend, hibernate, hybrid-sleep, lock or kexec.

If these options are not configured, systemd will use its defaults: HandlePowerKey=poweroff, HandleSuspendKey=suspend, HandleHibernateKey=hibernate, and HandleLidSwitch=suspend.

On systems which run no graphical setup or only a simple window manager like i3 or awesome, this may replace the acpid daemon which is usually used to react to these ACPI events.

  • Run systemctl restart systemd-logind for your changes to take effect.
  • systemd cannot handle AC and Battery ACPI events, so if you use Laptop Mode Tools or other similar tools acpid is still required.

In the current version of systemd, the Handle* options will apply throughout the system unless they are "inhibited" (temporarily turned off) by a program, such as a power manager inside a desktop environment. If these inhibits are not taken, you can end up with a situation where systemd suspends your system, then when it wakes up the other power manager suspends it again.

Warning: Currently, the power managers in the newest versions of KDE and GNOME are the only ones that issue the necessary "inhibited" commands. Until the others do, you will need to set the Handle options to ignore if you want your ACPI events to be handled by Xfce, acpid or other programs.

Suspend and hibernate

systemd provides commands for suspend to RAM, hibernate and a hybrid suspend using the kernel's native suspend/resume functionality. There are also mechanisms to add hooks to customize pre- and post-suspend actions.

Note: systemd can also use other suspend backends (such as Uswsusp or TuxOnIce), in addition to the default kernel backend, in order to put the computer to sleep or hibernate. See Uswsusp#With systemd for an example.

systemctl suspend should work out of the box, for systemctl hibernate to work on your system you need to follow the instructions at Suspend and Hibernate#Hibernation.

Sleep hooks

systemd does not use pm-utils to put the machine to sleep when using systemctl suspend, systemctl hibernate or systemctl hybrid-sleep; pm-utils hooks, including any custom hooks, will not be run. However, systemd provides two similar mechanisms to run custom scripts on these events.

Suspend/resume service files

Service files can be hooked into suspend.target, hibernate.target and sleep.target to execute actions before or after suspend/hibernate. Separate files should be created for user actions and root/system actions. To activate the user service files run systemctl enable suspend@user && systemctl enable resume@user. Examples:

Description=User suspend actions

ExecStartPre= -/usr/bin/pkill -u %u unison ; /usr/local/bin/music.sh stop ; /usr/bin/mysql -e 'slave stop'

Description=User resume actions

ExecStart=/usr/bin/mysql -e 'slave start'


For root/system actions (activate with systemctl enable root-suspend):

Description=Local system resume actions

ExecStart=/usr/bin/systemctl restart mnt-media.automount

Description=Local system suspend actions

ExecStart=-/usr/bin/pkill sshfs


A couple of handy hints about these service files (more in man systemd.service):

  • If Type=OneShot then you can use multiple ExecStart= lines. Otherwise only one ExecStart line is allowed. You can add more commands with either ExecStartPre or by separating commands with a semicolon (see the first example above; note the spaces before and after the semicolon, as they are required).
  • A command prefixed with - will cause a non-zero exit status to be ignored and treated as a successful command.
  • The best place to find errors when troubleshooting these service files is of course with journalctl.

Combined Suspend/resume service file

With the combined suspend/resume service file, a single hook does all the work for different phases (sleep/resume) and for different targets (suspend/hibernate/hybrid-sleep).

Example and explanation:

Description=Wicd sleep hook


  • RemainAfterExit=yes: After started, the service is considered active until it is explicitly stopped.
  • StopWhenUnneeded=yes: When active, the service will be stopped if no other active service requires it. In this specific example, it will be stopped after sleep.target is stopped.
  • Because sleep.target is pulled in by suspend.target, hibernate.target and hybrid-sleep.target and sleep.target itself is a StopWhenUnneeded service, the hook is guaranteed to start/stop properly for different tasks.

Hooks in /usr/lib/systemd/system-sleep

systemd runs all executables in /usr/lib/systemd/system-sleep/, passing two arguments to each of them:

  • Argument 1: either pre or post, depending on whether the machine is going to sleep or waking up
  • Argument 2: suspend, hibernate or hybrid-sleep, depending on which is being invoked

In contrast to pm-utils, systemd will run these scripts concurrently and not one after another.

The output of any custom script will be logged by systemd-suspend.service, systemd-hibernate.service or systemd-hybrid-sleep.service. You can see its output in systemd's journal:

# journalctl -b -u systemd-suspend
Note: You can also use sleep.target, suspend.target, hibernate.target or hybrid-sleep.target to hook units into the sleep state logic instead of using custom scripts.

An example of a custom sleep script:

case $1/$2 in
    echo "Going to $2..."
    echo "Waking up from $2..."

Do not forget to make your script executable:

# chmod a+x /usr/lib/systemd/system-sleep/example.sh

See man 7 systemd.special and man 8 systemd-sleep for more details.


Enable RC6 Power Save Options

Merge-arrows-2.pngThis article or section is a candidate for merging with [[]].Merge-arrows-2.png

Notes: find some better place for this section (Discuss in Talk:Power management#)

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

Reason: describe the states better; it may be platform dependent (Discuss in Talk:Power management#)

Where #Nr:

  • 1: enable rc6
  • 3: enable rc6 and deep rc6
  • 5: enable rc6 and deepest rc6
  • 7: enable rc6, deep and deepest rc6

See Also