Reducing power consumption is crucial for increasing the longevity of laptop batteries and making your machine last longer on a single charge. On the other hand, a well-optimized Ubuntu system can offer impressive battery life, rivaling that of other popular operating systems.

While Ubuntu is optimized out of the box for most hardware, certain settings and tools can be adjusted or installed to further enhance battery efficiency. This could include disabling unnecessary background processes, adjusting display brightness, and using dedicated power management tools.

By following the steps outlined below, you can maximize your Ubuntu system's battery life and reduce the frequency of required charges, resulting in a more environment-friendly use of your device.

Steps to improve battery consumption on Ubuntu systems:

  1. Adjust your screen brightness to a comfortable level.

    Reducing screen brightness can significantly improve battery life. However, ensure it's at a level that doesn't strain your eyes.

  2. Install the TLP power management tool.
    $ sudo apt update && sudo apt install tlp tlp-rdw

    TLP provides advanced power management and can optimize various settings automatically.

  3. Start the TLP service.
    $ sudo tlp start
  4. Disable unused hardware like Bluetooth if not in use.
    $ sudo rfkill block bluetooth

    Remember to enable Bluetooth again when needed using:

    $ sudo rfkill unblock bluetooth
  5. Disable unnecessary startup applications. Navigate to System Settings > Applications > Startup and untick applications you don't need at startup.
  6. Adjust the settings to turn off the display or put the system to sleep when inactive for a specified duration. Navigate to System Settings > Power to adjust these settings.
  7. Use integrated graphics if your system has switchable graphics. For example, if you have an Intel and NVIDIA combo, use Intel for normal tasks.
    $ sudo prime-select intel
  8. Monitor power consumption using the powertop tool. Install it and check the stats.
    $ sudo apt install powertop && sudo powertop

    With powertop, you can identify processes or services consuming high power and take action accordingly.

  9. Ensure you have the latest system updates. Often, newer kernel versions include optimizations for power management.
    $ sudo apt update && sudo apt upgrade
  10. Consider using lightweight desktop environments like LXDE or XFCE if you're using resource-heavy ones like GNOME or KDE.

Implementing the steps above should help you optimize your Ubuntu system for better battery life. Regularly monitoring your battery performance can help you identify any unusual power drains and address them promptly.

This guide is tested on Ubuntu:

Version Code Name
22.04 LTS Jammy Jellyfish
23.10 Mantic Minotaur
24.04 LTS Noble Numbat
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