Éowyn’s performance when running Ubuntu was, at best, less than optimal, and at worst, abysmal.
From what the ArchWiki recommended, I’m testing out powertop, a “tool provided by Intel to enable various powersaving modes in userspace, kernel and hardware. It is possible to monitor processes and show which of them are utilizing the CPU and wake it from its Idle-States, allowing to identify applications with particular high power demands.”
I’m also testing out TLP for better power management.
Stuff to watch out for
You’re going to want to keep powertop running for a bit only connected to battery power. If you don’t, powertop won’t have enough measurement data.
Some folks have reported issues with powertop and USB. The fix is going to the Tunables selection, and changing the settings at the appropriate line from “Good” to “Bad.”
You can calibrate using
sudo powertop --calibrate
Setting up Powertop
sudo apt-get install powertop
or sudo powertop –auto-tune Using the auto-tune flag changes all of the Tunables to “Good.”
However, these changes aren’t permanent. If you want to make these changes permanent, install powertop as a service by typing the following:
cat << EOF | sudo tee /etc/systemd/system/powertop.service [Unit] Description=PowerTOP auto tune [Service] Type=idle Environment="TERM=dumb" ExecStart=/usr/sbin/powertop --auto-tune [Install] WantedBy=multi-user.target EOF systemctl daemon-reload systemctl enable powertop.service
You should be good to go! Check out this link for more info.
I installed TLP using
sudo apt install tlp
There’s an optional graphical UI for TLP called TLPUI. First, add the PPA repository using
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:linuxuprising/apps
sudo apt install tlpui
If you don’t like TLP, uninstall using
sudo apt remove --autoremove tlpui
and go to Software & Updates -> Other Software to remove the PPA.
At this point, I’m really, really, hating Éowyn; my honest recommendation to anyone is to just get something other than a Dell XPS 9570. My laptop heats up when I’m running something like Vim for about 5 minutes, and this is right after a fresh reboot/shut down. I’m at a loss. I tried using TLPUI to help me out on undervolting, and it’s kinda working, but not as effectively as I would have liked.
The power performance on Éowyn is now fine, but that may be some combination of moving from Ubuntu to Debian, and from GNOME to Cinnamon/i3. GNOME was probably a bit too bloated, as may have been other apps I tended to use. I really like my computer now!