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openSUSE 11.1 GNOME User Guide
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1.15 Controlling Your Desktop’s Power Management

GNOME Power Manager is a session daemon for the GNOME desktop that manages the power settings for your laptop or desktop computer.

GNOME Power Manager is usually started automatically when GNOME starts, but you can manually start GNOME Power Manager by using the following command:

gnome-power-manager --verbose --no-daemon

1.15.1 GNOME Power Manager Notification Messages

The GNOME Power Manager displays the following notifications under the specified conditions:

AC Adapter Unplugged

Figure 1-11 GNOME Power Manager Notification When AC Adapter is Removed

You can disable this notification by changing the GConf key /apps/gnome-power-manager/notify_ac_adapter.

Fully Charged

Figure 1-12 GNOME Power Manager Notification When Laptop Primary Battery is Fully Charged

You can disable this notification by changing the GConf key /apps/gnome-power-manager/notify_fully_charged.

You will receive a repeat notification only if your battery percentage charge drops below 95% and then is again fully charged. This prevents some machines from showing unwanted repeat notifications if the battery is incorrectly reporting the charged status.

Power Low

When the battery is low, you will receive the following notification. You should consider switching to AC power as soon as possible.

Figure 1-13 GNOME Power Manager Notification When Battery Power is Low

Power Critical

When the computer has run out of power, it will show this notification explaining what action is required. You can change the critical low action using the preferences tool (see Section 1.15.3, Modifying Power Management Preferences for more information).

Figure 1-14 GNOME Power Manager Notification When the System Power is Critically Low

Suspend Failure

When a suspend failure occurs, you might receive this following warning. The most common reason for this notification is that the current user does not have permission to suspend or hibernate the computer.

Figure 1-15 GNOME Power Manager Notification When Suspend Failure Occurs

1.15.2 Viewing Power Statistics

The statistics program lets you view the power consumption of your laptop hardware in graphic form.

Figure 1-16 Power History Going From Battery Power to AC

To access the statistics graphs, click Computer > More Applications > System > Power Statistics.

You might not see some options or graphs if your computer does not have the required hardware. You might also see other hardware not shown here (for example UPS devices), but these are treated the same way as other devices.

Change History

This graph shows the percentage charge available for the composite primary battery. If you have a main laptop battery and an auxiliary battery, only the averaged value will be shown. A legend is not shown with this graph.

Power History

This graph shows the power history charge used by the composite primary battery. The line represents the amount of power that is either being used to charge the batteries in the system, or the power being used by the system from the batteries. You should see the line go up when processor intensive tasks are performed, and go down when the system is at idle (or when the screen is dimmed). A legend is shown with this graph when data events have been received.

You will not receive rate data from your computer if it is not charging or discharging, or if the computer is suspended. This is due to hardware limitations where the rate is only sent from the battery management chip, rather than the power management chip on the motherboard.

Estimated Time History

This graph shows the estimated charge history for the composite primary battery. The line represents the amount of time required until charged, or the amount of time until discharge. This line should go proportionally up when the power decreases and down when the rate increases. A legend is shown with this graph when data events have been received.

1.15.3 Modifying Power Management Preferences

The Power Management Preferences dialog box lets you control the LCD brightness when your system is on AC or battery power, the idle time for the screen power-down and suspend action, the actions to perform when the laptop lid is closed, and the notification area icon policy.

To access Power Management Preferences, click Computer > More Applications > System > Power Management.

On AC Power Preferences

Use the options on the On AC Power dialog box to automatically put your computer to sleep when it has been inactive for a specified amount of time.When your computer is asleep, it is turned on but in a low power mode. It takes less time for a computer to wake up from sleep than it does for the computer to start up after being turned off.

You can also set only the display to sleep. If your computer is in the middle of a task (for example, burning a DVD) that you want to finish while you are away, set only the display to sleep.

Figure 1-17 GNOME Power Manager On AC Power Preferences

On Battery Power Preferences

Use the options on the On Batter Power dialog box to automatically put your computer to sleep when it has been inactive for a specified amount of time, to specify what happens when you laptop lid closed, and what happens when battery power is critically low.

When your computer is asleep, it is turned on but in a low power mode. It takes less time for a computer to wake up from sleep than it does for the computer to start up after being turned off.

You can also set only the display to sleep. If your computer is in the middle of a task (for example, burning a DVD) that you want to finish while you are away, set only the display to sleep.

Figure 1-18 GNOME Power Manager On Battery Power Preferences

General Preferences

Use the options on the General Power Management Preference dialog box to configure miscellaneous options related to GNOME Power Manager’s behavior, such as the actions to perform when the power or suspend buttons are pressed, if an icon is displayed in the Notification area, and if sound is used to notify you in the event on an error.

Figure 1-19 GNOME Power Manager General Preferences

1.15.4 Session and System Idle Times

gnome-screensaver is a session daemon that monitors user input (if the mouse has or has not been moved, and if the keyboard has or has not been pressed), then starts a timeout. When the value of this timeout reaches the value set in Screensaver Preferences (using the Regard this computer as idle after option), then the login is marked as session idle. At this point, GNOME Power Manager performs the session idle actions, such as enabling low-power mode, and lowering the laptop panel brightness.

Figure 1-20 Changing the Session Idle Timeout in Screensaver Preferences

As soon as the session is marked idle, GNOME Power Manager starts it's own system timer. When the timeout set in GNOME Power Manager Preferences is reached, and the CPU load is idle, then the idle action is performed (such as turning off the screen, suspending, or hibernating the computer).

To make this clearer, the sliders in GNOME Power Manager Preferences are set to start at the value of the session-timeout + 1 minute, as GNOME Power Manager Preferences cannot logically trigger before the session is marked as idle. If you adjust the value of the session idle timeout in Screensaver Preferences, the start time of the sliders in GNOME Power Manager Preferences will change accordingly.

For more information, see Section 2.3.4, Configuring the Screen Saver.

openSUSE 11.1 GNOME User Guide
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