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Serial Port
Posts: 20
Registered: ‎03-19-2010
Location: Netherlands
Message 1 of 10 (10,531 Views)

Linux: battery battery battery.

Not too long ago, I received my very first Thinkpad: the x201 with the Core i7-620M. Exactly what I'm looking for in a laptop.


With the standard 6-cell battery, on the WIndows 7 Professional installation, it's able to live for 7.5 hours, thanks to the Thinkvantage Power Manager with which you can specify a plethora of settings to save every little bit of battery life.


The Thinkpads are loved by Linux users as well, especially if I look at the amount of work put into ThinkWiki. Battery life on a Linux installation however, is not really something to bragg about. With that 6-cell battery, you'll get half of the life you're used to on your Windows 7 installation.


What is it that we're missing?  Set the screen to the 50Hz refresh rate, stop hard disk rotation, use the ondemand or conservative CPU governor, turn off the sound card..


But how do we configure the settings found in the Thinkvantage Power Manager on Windows, the real life savers? Some of those are the CPU Deeper Sleep, Intel Graphics Power Plan, Wireless adapter power saving mode, PCI Express Link state power management.. and the list goes on.


I don't think we need a "Thinkvantage Power Manager" application on Linux. I do think we need to see some more work or help from Lenovo to improve the thinkpad extras in the Linux Kernel and Linux battery life. How do the Thinkvantage Power Manager settings translate to the Linux paths and settings? It could be as simple as knowledge from a Thinkpad engineer/developer, where to find the settings (in /sys/ for example) and what to put in them.


Curious about your thoughts, and thanks in advance!


Marvin Vek

Posts: 8,592
Topics: 428
Kudos: 1,580
Registered: ‎11-19-2007
Location: US
Message 2 of 10 (10,474 Views)

Possible Innovation - ThinkVantage for Linux?



Thanks for the great feedback!!   We can look into your request for power management information and will get back to you by email as I don't want to turn this innovation discussion area into a support discussion -I know that wasn't your intent.


You mention that you weren't expecting Lenovo to release ThinkVantage Power Manager for Linux, but that is kind of an interesting idea and area to potentially innovate.


What if some of the ThinkVantage applications were to be released for Linux?  Which would you see as having the most value?  



Serial Port
Posts: 20
Registered: ‎03-19-2010
Location: Netherlands
Message 3 of 10 (10,466 Views)

Re: Linux: battery battery battery.

[ Edited ]

Hello Mark!

I'd love to receive, or better, be in contact about Linux power management information and configuration! I'll explain the intention I had with the post, and my view on why power management is so important for a Linux laptop, an area I believe a Thinkpad can shine.

The reason I said that I wasn't expecting Lenovo to release ThinkVantage Power Manager, is that in comparison to Windows, Linux has a huge range of options when it comes to GUI toolkits (People using Gnome (GTK) might not want to install a QT (KDE) application), libraries (certain libraries might make it impossible for some distributions to include or use it), and so on. Doesn't mean I wouldn't love it ofcourse!

If Lenovo was to design and develop an application for Linux, my advise would be to make it modular (so you can choose what parts of the ThinkVantage Suite you want), not reinvent the wheel (depend on existing applications out there), and have it function
from the terminal/commandline with the option to install an optional GUI frontend.

The lack of that functionality on Linux is problematic if hardware parts don't work, performance is lost, or the battery life is a lot (25% to 50% as we're seeing with Linux on laptops in general) shorter.

This brings me to the ThinkVantage applications which would have the most value on a Linux install, ordered from least to most important.

  1. Active Protection System
    Tools like hdaps exist, but they don't seem to work very well yet. Improvement or newer applications here would be interesting.

  2. Client Security Solution
    Like the APS, software exists, but needs improvements and maybe a management application to go with it.

  3. Power Management
    Most important, as mentioned in the previous post. The current range of Linux power management applications don't benefit of each other and distributions don't really spend enough time there either.

    Binding available projects like ACPI, Udev, the LessWatts.org tools, Linux-PHC.org tools, the hibernate and suspend utilities and the kernel Sysfs (/sys/ directory) to get and set values, together in/with a Power Management application will give the Thinkpad a big advantage compared to other brands (especially since thinkpad support is already in the kernel).
Serial Port
Posts: 13
Registered: ‎02-06-2009
Location: Lviv, Ukraine
Message 4 of 10 (10,354 Views)

Re: Linux: battery battery battery.

[ Edited ]

I fully agree with Laen here!


That would be really awesome to have some applications from Lenovo to be able to use all the possibilities of ThinkPad under Linux. And which is important without having to spend hours on reading documentation and trying to configure the system.


As for GUI toolkits - the best thing to do is to separate the applications daemon from GUI part. Using a GUI to configure a program once is not a big problem as for me. Aspecially if you can configure it with some config files.


Also to see these programs open-source would be really cool! ))

Token Ring
Posts: 99
Registered: ‎11-27-2007
Location: Michigan
Message 5 of 10 (10,260 Views)

Re: Linux: battery battery battery.

Agreed with the post above. I run Fedora (14) and the advantages under Win7 when it comes to power management are un-matched in other OSs (even Vista is horrible at this).


It would be outstanding if Lenovo could offer other drivers when it comes to OSs, in particular when most of the Linux distros have come a LONG way! and they are getting to the point were in another couple of years Microsoft WILL have some competition.

Currently own: X220T, X201, X200, T61 X2, X61T X3

Punch Card
Posts: 13
Registered: ‎01-23-2011
Location: Prague, CZ
Message 6 of 10 (9,953 Views)

Re: Linux: battery battery battery.

I vote for it as well!


Although Linux is far less popular then Windows the number of people using Linux on thier laptops (especially IT people) is still many. And buying an expensive laptop being unable to benefit from all the coolest things provided by vendor for other platforms but not one you are using makes you feel kind of isolated or ignored in this meaning. That's a bit exagerrated of course, as mostly Linux runs just perfect on these machines (at least on my ThinkPad T510), but still it would be very appreciated to have ThinkVantage running on Linux and make your laptop working not just fine with Linux but perfect!


Looking forward to seeing XThinkVantage, GThinkVantage, KThinkVantage or something released Smiley Happy

I agree to be a beta-tester Smiley Wink

What's DOS?
Posts: 1
Registered: ‎05-09-2012
Location: New York, USA
Message 7 of 10 (8,853 Views)

Re: Linux: battery battery battery.

I know this is an old post, but I specifically registered to find out more info about it. I purchased a W520 a few months ago and I love it. It originally came with Windows 7 as well as the ThinkVantage-everything. I recently made the switch to a Linux OS (have been wanting to for a few years) and decided - maybe foolishly? - to do it on my brand-new-beautiful-portable-workstation. The two main things I regret are the loss of the quick use fingerprint scanner and the battery/power management that went along with Windows 7.

My question is: do I have any options for power management programs? My battery lasts about half as long (if not less) as it did with Windows. 

Please tell me there is a solution! 

What's DOS?
Posts: 1
Registered: ‎05-31-2012
Location: United Kingdom
Message 8 of 10 (8,779 Views)

Re: Linux: battery battery battery.

Hi rwhiteny,


In regards to the Fingerprint Reader, you may use existing tools such as thinkfinger in Linux, that will allow you to use it completely(I use it extensively on my Gentoo build, lenovo T60). It may be in your Distribution's repositories however chances are if it is an end-user targetted Distro like Ubuntu or Fedora, chances are it's already installed in some way or another.

It may require some manual configuration in the PAM policies however, but there will definitely be documentation for you, but IIRC there are configuration options on GDM etc to turn this on.


In regards to Battery Life, I can get around 3 hours out of mine on Linux, which is the same as I get on Windows with my standard battery, make sure you dim down the brightness to your minimum comfort level, turn off what you don't need(such as wireless, modern kernels have support for idle on wireless), and ensure your governer is set to powersave.

With just dimming the screen, and powersave, I get an extra hour to 30 mins on battery life added.


There's always Intel's powertop tool to see what's rudely awakening the CPU, to help cut back on those programs in times you do not need it, again extending life nicely.


Thinkpad's support for Linux is fantastic, I swear by thinkpads and I will for as long as they continue with their Linux compatibility, and their quality designs like coming with TPM's, HDAPS etc.


Though would be nice to have some official apps coming out. Smiley Happy


Kind regards,


Declan Williams.

What's DOS?
Posts: 2
Registered: ‎09-18-2012
Location: Cardiff
Message 9 of 10 (8,463 Views)

Re: Linux: battery battery battery.



I've registered just to add another vote for a Linux-supporting ThinkVantage.  "Battery! Battery! Battery!"  Me too ;-)


I've achieved very good battery life on my X201, but I had to do a lot of tinkering.  If Thinkpads offered such facilities out of the box, for me they would become my laptops of choice.  As noted above, a console version would be preferable due to the plethora of desktop environments available for Linux, which could make support a nightmare for Lenovo.


Regarding the BIOS updates, I can deal with burning a boot CD, however Lenovo should make the ISO available on HTTPS because users may want to be sure they are downloading the real thing.



What's DOS?
Posts: 1
Registered: ‎08-04-2013
Location: Bulgaria, Sofia
Message 10 of 10 (6,162 Views)

Re: Linux: battery battery battery.

Many of us would really appreciate if Lenovo develop ThinkVantage for linux, especially the Power manager for sure. 

Now I have a T430 - just awesome machine.. or is it. When I took it from the store it had Windows 7 pre-installed. The batery indicator showed 12+ hours. This was really cool. It's one of the main reasons I bought T430 at first place - it beats the MacBook Pro's 5-6 hours with many points on this. I see the mac as  T430's main competitor.


Since I am a linux user I almost instantly wiped out the Windows and put Linux on my machine. Then I saw the difference - now with the distribution's power manager + some tricks I gain maximum 3 hours and 40minutes of batery life without running anything. This is really not cool! Paying so much money for a business-class laptop that has less than 4 hours batery life doesn't worth it.


So please Lenovo put yourselves in my shoes. Don't make me switch to Mc. 

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