User:Saul/Laptop

From Organic Design wiki

Brightness

At first the brightness controls won't work after a fresh install so here are some steps to try:

  1. Update all the packages in the update manager, on a fresh install this installs a new kernel version - 5.15.0-41.
  2. Open the Driver Manager application and use the latest Nvidia one, both 515.48.07 and 470.129.06 worked fine for me.
  3. Restart the computer

If the brightness controls still do not work after that try the following steps.

sudo nano /etc/default/grub

# Change the line:
# GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX_DEFAULT="quiet splash"
# To become
# GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX_DEFAULT="quiet splash video.use_native_backlight=1"

sudo update-grub

Then again restart the computer and test again. If it is still not working (it should be) try these next steps:

# WARNING: This next step kills the user interface so make sure you memorize all the steps.
sudo service lightdm stop
# Hit ctrl-alt-f1 to open a session then login using your credentials.

sudo X -configure
sudo cp xorg.conf.new /etc/X11/xorg.conf
sudo reboot

The following notes might be of use if it still is not working but probably won't fix it outright.


The later linux kernels seem to handle the newer hardware better than the older ones so you can try installing mainline and installing a later kernel say 5.16 but make sure to uninstall it again if it does not install without errors. (You can still use it but some things will be broken like dependencies.) Another thing you can try is looking up brightness options for the /etc/X11/xorg.conf file.

Battery

TL;DR;

  1. Hybrid graphics mode (bios)
  2. NVIDIA On-Demand mode (nvidia-primus)
  3. Display 60Hz
  4. TLP
  5. sudo systemctl disable docker

The battery life was terrible at first - like less than 3h bad, however this can be fixed to give 10h or more. The first thing to do is ensure the computer is in dynamic graphics mode (set in the bios), this stops forcing the gpu to run all the time. The next thing to do is put nvidia primus (The amd? icon on the bottom right) into NVIDIA On-Demand mode - do not set it to AMD Power Saving Mode because contrary to the name it chews threw a lot of power for some reason. Another thing you can do is change the display to 60hz which saves a bit of battery. The next thing to do is install tlp.

TLP

# Install
sudo apt install tlp tlp-rdw

# Start (alternatively restart the computer)
sudo tlp start

# Verify it is running.
tlp-stat -s

You can further tune tlp by editing /etc/tlp.conf but personally the defaults were good enough for me.

GUI

TLP can be little tricky to figure out what settings need editing, a UI is most helpful for this.

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:linuxuprising/apps;

sudo apt-get update;

sudo apt-get install tlpui;

Then you can open the Tlp-UI application.

My TLP Settings

Usage during work: 10-12 W

# Note that my CPU will not go below a certain level so a low value is safe here.
CPU_SCALING_MAX_FREQ_ON_BAT=1

CPU_ENERGY_PREF_POLICY_ON_BAT=power

SCHED_POWERSAVE_ON_BAT=true

PLATFORM_PROFILE_ON_BAT=low-power

Slimbook

You can install and use slimbook with tlp but be warned it does change a lot of tlp settings on install. I have found that Slimbook uses around 3x the battery power on my laptop. Slimbook will give you a UI for configuring some of tlp's options.

# Backup tlp settings.
sudo cp /etc/tlp.conf /etc/tlp.conf.bak

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:slimbook/slimbook

sudo apt update

sudo apt install slimbookbattery

Docker

Beware if you install docker - it chews through a fair bit of battery life so I have it disabled by default after installing:

sudo systemctl disable docker

If you want to stop it manually you need to run:

sudo service docker stop
sudo ifconfig docker0 down

GPU

To check the power draw run:

nvidia-smi -q -d POWER

When power draw is high the Power Draw field has a value but when power draw is low it has the value Unknown Error. Running this command seems to activate the GPU.

Applets

I have installed a couple of applets (Cinnamon) to help me figure out what is happening to the battery life.

  • CPU Temperature Indicator
  • Power Consumption Display

The Power consumption is the most useful as that immediately tells me what kind of battery life to expect.

Conservative Charging

Note: I have created a applet for cinnamon for toggling this here.

Linux can also modify and view conservative charging mode using the following commands:

# Enable
echo  -n  "1" | sudo tee /sys/bus/platform/drivers/ideapad_acpi/VPC2004:00/conservation_mode > /dev/null

# Disable
echo  -n  "0" | sudo tee /sys/bus/platform/drivers/ideapad_acpi/VPC2004:00/conservation_mode > /dev/null

# View state
cat /sys/bus/platform/drivers/ideapad_acpi/VPC2004:00/conservation_mode

If you want to make a script to handle this create the file ~/.local/bin/conservative and make it executable with the following contents:

#/bin/bash

MODE=$(cat /sys/bus/platform/drivers/ideapad_acpi/VPC2004:00/conservation_mode);

if [ "$1" == "status" ]; then
    if [ "$MODE" == "1" ]; then
        echo "enabled";
    else
        echo "disabled";
    fi
  
    exit 0;
elif [ "$1" == "enable" ]; then
    if [ "$MODE" == "1" ]; then
        echo "Conservative charging is already enabled.";
        exit 1;
    fi

    echo  -n  "1" | sudo tee /sys/bus/platform/drivers/ideapad_acpi/VPC2004:00/conservation_mode > /dev/null;
    exit 0;
elif [ "$1" == "disable" ]; then
    if [ "$MODE" == "0" ]; then
        echo "Conservative charging is already disabled.";
        exit 1;
    fi

    echo  -n  "0" | sudo tee /sys/bus/platform/drivers/ideapad_acpi/VPC2004:00/conservation_mode > /dev/null;
    exit 0;
else
    echo "Usage: conservative [status|enable|disable]";
    exit 1;
fi

Then you can use it like so:

# Enable
conservative enable

# Disable
conservative disable

# View state
conservative status