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linux jupiterGet better battery life from your Linux laptop. Jupiter Applet is a small program that helps you save energy by adjusting your CPU, tweaking the Linux kernel and your hardware. You probably won’t notice a performance difference, but your battery will last longer.

There are many ways to increase the life your laptop battery 20 Ways To Increase Laptop's Battery Life 20 Ways To Increase Laptop's Battery Life Read More , many of them obvious: turn down the monitor brightness when you’re unplugged and be careful what software you use. Basically, try not to use battery-sucking features when you don’t need them.

Software like Jupiter can also help, however, by cutting back on energy usage when your laptop isn’t plugged in. You usually don’t need 100% of your CPU’s potential. Jupiter realizes this, and is accordingly frugal with your energy. It also gives you a quick way to turn off battery-sucking devices, such as Bluetooth. This can put a lot of time between the present and that terrible future when your battery is completely dead.

Using Jupiter

The real magic of Jupiter happens in the background. The software can tell whether or not your computer is plugged in, and will cut back on CPU power usage. Don’t worry, though: if you need to get the most out of your CPU–regardless of your particular Linux battery life–you can do that too.

linux jupiter

The tray icon, shown above as an Ubuntu applet, lets you manually configure Jupiter’s tweaks whenever you want. So you can set your computer to whatever performance level you prefer:

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linux battery life

By default, “Maximum Performance” is used when your computer is plugged in and “Power Saving” is used when it isn’t. You can instead use “Power On Demand” setting, which is a compromise. Whatever you choose, Jupiter will remember your preference–meaning if you select “Power On Demand” while unplugged that setting will be used every time you unplug. Experiment if you wish!

You can also use the applet to quickly turn off power-sucking devices. Bluetooth is a good example of a service you probably don’t need on the go, but which uses up a lot of energy. Turning off the WiFi can also help a lot, if you can live offline for a while.

linux battery life

Finally, this applet also gives you access to your display settings. Quickly change the resolution or turn off an external display, quickly:

linux jupiter

You can even change the screen resolution or orientation, if you want. Not sure why that’s there, but it’s convenient.

Installing Jupiter Applet

Ready to set up Jupiter Applet on your Linux laptop or netbook? Find installation instructions on the Jupiter website. There is an RPM for Fuduntu and a PPA for Ubuntu users, provided by Webupd8, a fantastic Linux blog.

You can easily add their PPA, ppa:webupd8team/jupiter, using Y PPA Y PPA Manage: A GUI For Managing Ubuntu PPAs [Linux] Y PPA Manage: A GUI For Managing Ubuntu PPAs [Linux] Do you want to avoid using the command line when installing bleeding edge software? Then manage your Ubuntu PPAs from a simple GUI with Y PPA Manager. Ubuntu users get their software from the Ubuntu... Read More , or by entering the following commands:

sudo apt-add-repository ppa:webupd8team/jupiter
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install jupiter

If you use an EEE PC, you’ll also want to install the jupiter-support-eee package:

sudo apt-get install jupiter-support-eee

Conclusion

I’ve been using Jupiter for a week, and it’s probably given me an extra 45 minutes or so out of my battery, nothing to sneeze at for a three year old netbook. How much did Jupiter help you with your Linux battery life? Let us know in the comments below.

Want even more control over your power usage? Look into Gnome Power Statistics Take Control Of Your Power Usage With Gnome Power Statistics [Linux] Take Control Of Your Power Usage With Gnome Power Statistics [Linux] For all of you who are conscious about your power usage, you probably tend to check over your power settings often to make sure that you're being as energy-efficient as possible. This is even more... Read More . Not a Linux user? Try BatteryCare for Windows Extend Your Laptop Battery Life With BatteryCare (Windows) Extend Your Laptop Battery Life With BatteryCare (Windows) Read More . Looking for something similar for your Mac? Try out Watts Improve Your Mac Laptop Battery Life With Watts [OSX] Improve Your Mac Laptop Battery Life With Watts [OSX] Laptop batteries are tricky bits of hardware. You have to plug them in to charge them up, but you can't leave them plugged in too long or they'll be damaged. You can't always let them... Read More .

  1. Kevin Vaillant
    June 26, 2012 at 6:17 pm

    Thanks for the tip, any extra battery time I can get out of my 3 year old laptop running Ubuntu is appreciated. Does anyone know if swapping the HDD for an SSD will increase my battery life?

  2. Duncan Hamilton
    June 22, 2012 at 9:21 am

    Installed on a Samsung NC-10 running Xubuntu 12.?? with a fairly healthy nine cell battery, and the Samsung management tools package. Jupiter works fine, but no noticeable difference in battery life.

    Perhaps another trick might be worth mentioning - My Dell Latitude running Ubuntu 12 was down to sub 1hr 20mins battery life (old battery less than 60% max), and getting very hot. Took it apart and cleaned the fan and heat sink - the heat sink was clogged with fluff. That basically doubled the life of the battery and cooled it significantly.

    Bonus too was I had a couple of screws left over which went into the 'spare' screws tin.

    • Justin Pot
      June 22, 2012 at 4:17 pm

      Cleaning out your computer is always a good idea. Come to think of it, it's about time I cleaned out mine...

      • Duncan Hamilton
        June 22, 2012 at 5:35 pm

        Justin, have a look at Redshift - awesome little app, you'll never turn it off.

        (BTW, accidentally flagged your post, silly place right next to the reply button)

  3. ecd4a4d35dce1b96560e85a8ce64f578
    June 17, 2012 at 4:13 pm

    Thanks for sharing, very interesting. I'll have to try it some day.

  4. Trevor L
    June 17, 2012 at 11:28 am

    Thanks for the tip Justin, installing now.

    • Justin Pot
      June 17, 2012 at 2:06 pm

      Let me know how it works for you.

  5. skinnynoizze
    June 17, 2012 at 10:19 am

    aint you worry about that 71º C?

    • Justin Pot
      June 17, 2012 at 2:06 pm

      Whoa, I thought that was ºF! I should probably look into that...

      • skinnynoizze
        June 18, 2012 at 1:10 am

        well i guess it can stand up to 90º but i feel the laptop very hot when it's over 60 ºC

  6. alavhar
    June 16, 2012 at 10:32 pm

    the developer of this peace of software also has made a fedora 14 fork distro fuduntu, which is what I'm using and it's really great at battery usage :)

    • Justin Pot
      June 17, 2012 at 2:04 pm

      I might need to try that out sometime.

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