TLP – Quickly Increase and Optimize Linux Laptop Battery Life

TLP is a free open source, feature-rich and command line tool for advanced power management, which helps to optimize battery life in laptops powered by Linux. It runs on every laptop brand, and ships in with a default configuration already tunned to effectively and reliably maintain battery life, so you can simply install and use it.

It performs power saving by allowing you to configure how devices such as CPU, disk, USBs, PCIs, radio devices should utilize power when your laptop is running on battery.

TLP Features:

  • It is highly configurable through various power saving parameters.
  • It uses automated background tasks.
  • Uses kernel laptop mode and dirty buffer timeouts.
  • Supports processor frequency scaling including “turbo boost” and “turbo core”.
  • Has a power aware process scheduler for multi-core/hyper-threading.
  • Provides for runtime power management for PCI(e) bus devices.
  • PCI Express active state power management (PCIe ASPM).
  • Supports radeon graphics power management (KMS and DPM).
  • Has a I/O scheduler (per disk).
  • Offers USB autosuspend with blacklist.
  • Supports Wifi power saving mode.
  • Also offers Audio power saving mode.
  • Offers hard disk advanced power management level and spin down timeout (per disk).
  • Also supports SATA aggressive link power management (ALPM) and so much more.

How to Install TLP Battery Management Tool in Linux

TLP package can be easily installed on Ubuntu as well as corresponding Linux Mint using TLP-PPA repository as shown.

$ sudo add-apt-repository ppa:linrunner/tlp
$ sudo apt-get update
$ sudo apt-get install tlp tlp-rdw 

On Debian add the following line to your /etc/apt/sources.list file and then update the system package cache and install it.

# echo "deb jessie-backports main" >> /etc/apt/sources.list
# apt-get update # apt-get install tlp tlp-rdw 

On Fedora, Arch Linux and OpenSuse, execute the following command as per your distribution.

# dnf install tlp tlp-rdw [On Fedora]
# pacman -S tlp tlp-rdw [On Arch Linux]
# zypper install tlp tlp-rdw [On OpenSUSE]

How to Use TLP to Optimize Battery Life in Linux

Once you have installed TLP, its configuration file is /etc/default/tlp and you will have the following commands to use:

  • tlp – apply laptop power saving settings
  • tlp-stat – displays all power saving settings
  • tlp-pcilist – displays PCI(e) device data
  • tlp-usblist – for viewing USB devices data

It should start automatically as a service, you can check if it is running under SystemD using systemctl command.

$ sudo systemctl status tlp

After the service starts running, you have to restart the system to actually start using it. But you can prevent this by manually applying the current laptop power saving settings with root privileges using the sudo command, like so.

$ sudo tlp start 

Afterwards, confirm that it is running using the following command, which actually shows system information and TLP status.

$ sudo tlp-stat -s 

Show System and TLP Information

Important: As we mentioned before, it uses automated background tasks but you will not see any TLP background process or daemon in ps command output.

To view current TLP configuration, run the following command with -c option.

$ sudo tlp-stat -c

Show TLP Configuration

To display all power settings run the following command.

$ sudo tlp-stat

Show Power Saving Settings

To display Linux battery information, run the following command with -b switch.

$ sudo tlp-stat -b

Show Linux Battery Information

To display Temperatures and Fan Speed of system, run the following command with -t switch.

$ sudo tlp-stat -t

Show CPU Temperature and Fan Speed

To display Processor Data, run the following command with -p switch.

$ sudo tlp-stat -p

Show Processor Data

To display any Warnings, run the following command with -w switch.

$ sudo tlp-stat -w

Note: If your are using ThinkPad, there are certain specific packages you need to install for your distribution, that you can check from the TLP homepage. You will also find more information and a number of other usage commands there.

Read Also: PowerTop – Monitors Total Power Usage and Improve Linux Laptop Battery Life

TLP is a useful tool for all laptops powered by Linux operating systems. Give us your thought about it via the comment form below, and you can let us know of any other similar tools you have come across as well.

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Posted by News Monkey