Sunday 20 January 2008

PowerTOP - Power Saver for GNU/Linux

Computer programs can make your computer use more power. PowerTOP is a Linux tool that helps you find those programs that are misbehaving while your computer is idle. The application that misbehaved the most was the Linux kernel. However, as of version 2.6.21, the Linux kernel went tickless, and no longer has a fixed 1000Hz timer tick. The result (in theory) is huge power savings because the CPU stays in low power mode for longer periods during system idle.

However... there are many things that can ruin the party, both inside the kernel and in userspace. PowerTOP combines various sources of information from the kernel into one convenient screen so that you can see how well your system is doing at saving power, and which components are the biggest problems.

PowerTOP has these four basic goals:

* Show how well your system is using the various hardware power-saving features
* Show you the culprit software components that are preventing optimal usage of your - hardware power savings
* Help Linux developers test their application and achieve optimal behavior
* Provide you with tuning suggestions to achieve low power consumption

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