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kbzium
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 06, 2012 7:44 pm    Post subject: Battery drain Gentoo > Windows. Any solutions? Reply with quote

Hi there,

I have been using Gentoo for ~5 months now and I love it. I don't like coming back to windows but I must do it when I use my laptop. There was a Gentoo installed on it once, before it has its motherboard changed (dunno if it was Gentoo, or rather misconfiguration fault). Back then it could handle max 2,5h of working w/o stressing much. Windows gives me 4h+ at same situations. I have used all governors available but it did no good (on demand, conservative etc).

My laptop is HP 6560b with i5 2nd gen, 1600x900 LED, 4GB ram, some radeon 6000 series i believe (not very strong of course).

I'd love to install here Gentoo too, but i simply cannot if there is no way to fight that fast battery drain...
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kbzium
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 06, 2012 8:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Maybe should I install Sabayon Xfce? :)
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John R. Graham
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 06, 2012 8:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

When you installed Gentoo the last time, what did you do with power management? Have you seen the Gentoo Power Management Guide?

- John
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kbzium
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 06, 2012 8:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yep I've seen it. I did what they recommended. Maybe there is no support for my gpu (downthrottling) or something?
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NeddySeagoon
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 06, 2012 8:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

kbzium,

There is a lot more to power saving than the CPU governor.

Screen brightness and turning off things that are not in use all help.
Gentoo can help with all of these things.

You can make a runlevel called battery and have the kernel switch you between default (when you are on AC power) and battery, when you are not.
Only put things in the battery runlevel that you want to run when you are on battery.

Look at other power management options for turning off elements of your system you are not using. e.g. wifi.

Its much easier in Windows as it just works. In Gentoo you need to configure it.
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kbzium
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 06, 2012 8:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

So simply I should disable what I can speaking of software (or effects) when on battery runlevel. What I'm experiencing at my stationary PC (Gentoo 3.3.8) there is a process that uses a lot of power sometimes - rcinit i believe. I think it could have some impact on my laptop's battery life back then.
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NeddySeagoon
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 06, 2012 8:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

kbzium,

Yes, both software and hardware should be disabled for the best battery life.
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chithanh
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 06, 2012 10:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think the battery drain is due to the graphics. This laptop looks like it has dual Intel/AMD graphics.

You can use the vga_switcheroo to disable the discrete radeon part and save power. Or at least set it to low power state through /sys/class/drm/ controls.
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galanom
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 07, 2012 12:55 am    Post subject: Re: Battery drain Gentoo > Windows. Any solutions? Reply with quote

Compiling a governor is not enough, you must have a userland utility to handle it. You can always compile ONLY conservative so no problem.
Package sys-power/cpufrequtils can help you find out your current governor and cpu clock. You can always look at the /sys tree if you are familiar.
About hybrid graphics, if that is the case, you must compile your kernel with proper support. See Device Drivers -> Graphics Support -> Laptop Hybrid Graphics
As for wifi, I wouldn't care. Or you can use your rfkill switch. But really, I doubt it eats more than a few tenths of a watt.
Brightness level may differ than the one in Windows. Use your keyboard hot keys to adjust it.

There are dozens of things that you may have to take care of. But I think the most common culprit is the cpu governor and graphics.
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mir3x
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 07, 2012 4:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

kbzium, install powertop and see tunable options and try tuning them each start ( via some script ). also check logs while compiling powertop, it will say what options you need for better powersaving to be enabled in kernel and recompile kernel with those options.
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kbzium
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 09, 2012 3:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Okay. The last issue is somehow complicated.

There was Gentoo on this laptop once. It worked just fine for about 1,5 month. Then, something weird happened. Some day it failed to launch and I must have removed its battery to make it work again. A week have passed without any issues. Then, i remember it clearly, I was about to shut down my laptop and go to sleep. I pressed shutdown button in my kde with no reaction. So i pressed hardware power button and it appeared to work because it has initialized normal power off sequence (or I missed something). There was AC power plugged in. Next day I brought my laptop to university and tried to launch. No reaction. I couldn't launch it anymore. They told me they has to replace the motherboard in service.

The only things that makes me hesitate is short battery life (which can be fixed somehow i hope) and this second issue - could Gentoo do something wrong to my laptop? The thing is it came with standard 2 partiions - one for recovery & memory dumps and the other for installation. I cleared them out. So I'm wondering if pressing that button could make my laptop hibernate "sooooo good" that it couldn't boot anymore. Yeah, that sounds weird but... what a weird coincidence? The thing is I'm running out of warranty and another MOBO replacement would cost me 1/2 laptop value...
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galanom
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 09, 2012 8:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

kbzium wrote:
Okay. The last issue is somehow complicated.

There was Gentoo on this laptop once. It worked just fine for about 1,5 month. Then, something weird happened. Some day it failed to launch and I must have removed its battery to make it work again. A week have passed without any issues. Then, i remember it clearly, I was about to shut down my laptop and go to sleep. I pressed shutdown button in my kde with no reaction. So i pressed hardware power button and it appeared to work because it has initialized normal power off sequence (or I missed something). There was AC power plugged in. Next day I brought my laptop to university and tried to launch. No reaction. I couldn't launch it anymore. They told me they has to replace the motherboard in service.

The only things that makes me hesitate is short battery life (which can be fixed somehow i hope) and this second issue - could Gentoo do something wrong to my laptop? The thing is it came with standard 2 partiions - one for recovery & memory dumps and the other for installation. I cleared them out. So I'm wondering if pressing that button could make my laptop hibernate "sooooo good" that it couldn't boot anymore. Yeah, that sounds weird but... what a weird coincidence? The thing is I'm running out of warranty and another MOBO replacement would cost me 1/2 laptop value...


Er... NO!
1. Hibernate is just saving memory to swap, shutting down and when user presses power, boot up, restore swap to RAM. It is really a misnomer. Your laptop does not sleep or hibernate at all. It is just switched off.
2. Li-Ion batteries are good for 2-3 years. After that, their capacity rapidly declines to almost zero. I suggest you buy an OEM (not genuine) battery from a chinese seller for a ridiculous price. You can find extended run batteries for minimal increase in price, but look out if their increased size/weight is worth the effort.
3. If you motherboard is damaged (and not cpu or something else - you GOT to know that) and you're off warranty, better buy from eBay and not from official channels.
4. You can delete your windows and/or recovery partitions as you like, if service/support complains (rare), google for how to respond.
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kbzium
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 09, 2012 9:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It happened several months ago :-). Haven't installed Gentoo since then and I'm about to do it now :) - I was afraid Gentoo (or rather misconfiguration or misuse) could do that. It's only the shame, that Microsoft "equips" all of the laptops with unwanted software... I've paid for that windows. Eh.
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galanom
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 10, 2012 12:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

kbzium wrote:
It happened several months ago :-). Haven't installed Gentoo since then and I'm about to do it now :) - I was afraid Gentoo (or rather misconfiguration or misuse) could do that. It's only the shame, that Microsoft "equips" all of the laptops with unwanted software... I've paid for that windows. Eh.


Even if that was the case, you can always remove AC plug and all batteries, wait capacitors to discharge (like 30s), and then the computer will "forget" any sleep, hibernate or standby state it was in.
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albright
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 10, 2012 1:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
computer will "forget" any sleep, hibernate or standby state it was in.


are you sure? I thought the hibernate state was written to
the hard disk.
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schorsch_76
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 10, 2012 6:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

A often overlooked point is the GPU. E.g. your radeon card can use low power profile. So did i, with my laptop. It squeezes a lot more out of the battery. See [1] . I added
Code:
echo low >  /sys/class/drm/card0/device/power_profile

to my /etc/local.d/radeon-power.start script.

[1] http://www.x.org/wiki/RadeonFeature
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galanom
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 10, 2012 9:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

albright wrote:
Quote:
computer will "forget" any sleep, hibernate or standby state it was in.


are you sure? I thought the hibernate state was written to
the hard disk.


Yes, this is the case. I wrote "IF that was the case", ie if it was a form of a deep sleep state, which is not.
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kbzium
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 10, 2012 6:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

So you're sure that PC cannot be damaged from Gentoo?
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galanom
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 10, 2012 6:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

kbzium wrote:
So you're sure that PC cannot be damaged from Gentoo?


If it has survived Microsoft operating systems with the whole ecosystem of all kind of viruses, worms, trojans, rootkits etc, then I'm sure it's safe to use linux.

Now seriously, why would Linux damage your pc? It reminds me of some mothers, trying to stop their children from masturbating, telling them that they'll get blind.

Ok at the early days of (personal) computing, there were some monitors that could get into trouble with wrong scan lines but even mine which I bought in 1990 it was not susceptible to this issue.
Some processors from AMD had no thermal protection until 2002 I think.
We now have 2012. You can't damage your pc with software. Well, unless your gentoo controls the cooling of a nuclear reactor, then yes, you could destroy a whole city.
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kbzium
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 11, 2012 6:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yeah but it's HP you know :D. I can't stand windows anyways... So I'll install Gentoo on my laptop too tomorrow.
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