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How to save battery life on Ubuntu with Slimbook Battery

The Slimbook line of Laptops has an impressive battery life, touting some of the best battery performance for Linux laptops. However, the people behind Slimbook aren’t satisfied with the battery performance and have created a utility that can squeeze even more savings out of it.

The utility is known as Slimbook Battery, and it works on Ubuntu and Ubuntu-like Linux distributions (Linux Mint, Elementary OS, Zorin, etc.) with all Slimbook laptops. In addition to working well with Slimbook laptops, the Slimbook Battery tool will work on any Linux laptop to help save battery life.

Note: there is an unofficial Arch Linux User Repository package for the Slimbook Battery utility. If you use Arch, point your favorite AUR helper at this package, install it, and follow along with the tutorial to learn how to get battery savings.

Install Slimbook Battery utility on Ubuntu

The Slimbook Battery utility is not in Ubuntu software sources. The reason for this is that Ubuntu either hasn’t gotten around to including it, or they don’t want to because of some software licensing issues that conflict with the mission of Ubuntu as a whole. As a result, you must install the Slimbook Battery utility from an external software repository (PPA).

To start the installation, open up a terminal window by pressing Ctrl + Alt + T or Ctrl + Shift + T on the keyboard. Then, once the terminal window is open, use the add-apt-repository command to get the Slimbook Battery PPA working on your Ubuntu (or Ubuntu-like) Linux distribution.

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:slimbook/slimbook

After adding in the Slimbook PPA to your Ubuntu Linux PC, the installation is not complete. You must now update the software sources on your computer. The reason you have to perform the update, is that Ubuntu must check the new PPA, cache it, and add it to your local software source database.

To update Ubuntu’s software sources, you must run the update command below in the terminal window.

sudo apt update

Following the update command, it’s a good idea to install all pending software patches and updates. The reason? Your battery life will be a lot better with the latest Ubuntu patches, drivers, kernel updates, and so on. To do an update, you must use the upgrade command. Using the command below, install all pending software patches.

Note: to look at pending updates before installing them on Ubuntu, open up a terminal window and run the apt list –upgradeable command. It will print out a list of all updates.

sudo apt upgrade -y

Once your Ubuntu Linux PC is entirely up to date, it’s time to install the Slimbook Battery utility. To install it, use the Apt package manager command below in the terminal.

sudo apt install slimbookbattery

After installing the Slimbook Battery application on your Ubuntu Linux PC (or Ubuntu-like OS), no configuration is required, as the Slimbook developers have sane defaults and make sure that their apps work right out of the box. Instead, launch the app and move on to the next section of the guide to learn about the different battery saving profiles the app has to offer!

Save battery life on Ubuntu with Slimbook Battery

With Slimbook Battery open on your Ubuntu PC, the app will not be using any battery profiles. Instead, Slimbook Battery is set to “off”. To take advantage of the saving features, you must switch to one of the profiles available. These profiles are “Energy Saving”, “Balanced” and “Maximum Performance.”

Energy Savings

If your Linux laptop does not last very long when using the battery, the profile you need to check out is “Energy Savings”.  This mode is the most aggressive out of the three profiles that the app offers and will do the most to save battery life on your system.

Switch to the “Energy Savings” profile in the Slimbook by clicking the tray icon, and selecting the green “Energy Savings” option.

Balanced

If the “Energy Saving” mode for Slimbook Battery is too aggressive and goes too far to limit battery usage on your Ubuntu Linux PC, you’ll want to check out the “Balanced” profile. This profile, as the name suggests, gives a good middle-ground between the “Energy Saving” profile and the “Maximum Performance” profile. To switch to Balanced, click on the tray icon, and select “Balanced.”

Maximum Performance

Sometimes, you may want to get the full performance features out of your Linux laptop. Using the “Balanced” or “Energy Savings” mode in Slimbook Battery is not good enough, and will not allow you to use your laptop to its full potential.

To switch to a battery mode that allows you to get full performance, click on the Slimbook Battery tray icon, and set it to “Maximum Performance.” It should instantly allow your laptop to take full advantage of its hardware.

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