Phoronix and Other Sites Have Found Linux Kernel Power Management Snafus

by Sam Dean - Jun. 27, 2011Comments (0)

For many Ubuntu users, adjusting to the new version 11.04 (Natty Narwhal) has included some hiccups, but not all the problems are specific to this version of Ubuntu. There are several reports emerging that claim that the Linux kernel now presents power management issues, with some well-known web sites establishing that the problems exist through hands-on tests. The problems are also affecting users of multiple Linux distros.

Michael Larabel, from Phoronix, has a good summary of the Linux power management issues that appear to be affecting many mobile users. And his findings are not isolated. He writes:

"The Phoronix Test Suite stack and I have now nailed this major power regression in the Linux 2.6.38 kernel that is affecting a significant number of mobile Linux users…This article is documenting what is the largest contributor to the major Linux power regression in the Linux 2.6.38 kernel that dramatically is shortening the battery life for many Linux users compared to running the Linux 2.6.37 kernel and earlier. The regression is in the mainline kernel tree but was first spotted when Ubuntu 11.04 was on a power consumption binge and is now affecting users of Fedora 15 and other recent Linux distribution releases too."

Larabel cites his original discovery of the power management issues two months ago, and also cites discussions about the issues going on in Phoronix's forums. Tom's Hardware has also tested for the power management issues and confirmed them, also adding that the problems many Ubuntu users are reporting are not a result of the Unity interface, which was initially deemed to help drain battery power for mobile users.

Are you experiencing short battery life when using Ubuntu 11.04 or other Linux distress? If so, look into Phoronix's recommendations on what to do.

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