Distro with best power management?

Currently running CentOS 7 on a laptop with Intel graphics. I get 1/2 to 1/3 the battery life of Windows. Is there a distro with better battery life? Are there settings I can tweak other than what are in the Settings applet?

I think that the powermanagement mainlly depends on the Desktop envoirement,
rather then underlaying distro.


Bottom line is that all distros have the same battery life potential.

Different DEs will consume more or less power, but that is not a distro thing.

The real thing you want to focus on is the kernel. The kernel will have different power management settings. and you can patch these settings and tweak things to save more power.

CentOS also probably doesn’t have tlp installed by default.


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Thanks for the tip about TLP. As far as desktop environment, are you referring to resource usage or available power management features? ie, is xfce inherently superior to kde for this purpose?

A little of both.

Typically, less resource usage and the lack of a compositor will lead to less power consumption.

XFCE is pretty lightweight, especially compared to KDE. I think you’ll be happy with it.

Also, turn off your wifi and bluetooth when you don’t need it. they burn through a lot of power.

One more note: Display brightness makes a significant difference in battery life.

I think you’ll be better off with a more desktop oriented distro (like Fedora if you wanna stay in the RedHat world) since they have better presets for laptops.

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Yeah i´m not too sure about that.
I have not really used CentOS extensivelly enough,
Or atleast havent really payed attention to that.

I do a lot of work with CentOS on servers and the kernel, while similar to Fedora, is tuned for max performance.

I’m not saying it’s a bad distro, actually the opposite, but just that OP might have more success with something that’s focused more OP’s use case.

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I chose CentOS because I just got a new job that has a large installed base of RHEL, and I had read that CentOS was the closest you can get to RHEL w/o paying through the nose. IIRC Fedora is a bit bleeding edge and has a short support window.

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Yeah i agree.

Allthough KDE with the newest plasma desktop 5.10 or 5.12,
has made allot of improvements wenn it comes to its resource usage.
Atleast compaired to what it has been before.
KDE can basiclly be as light as you want it, by tweaking it, disabling all the bling bling like you mentioned.
But kde might be a bit too intimidating wenn it comes to its gazillion options.

Gnome 3 probablly is still one of the most resource heavy DE’s out there.

Also some DE’s have a great powermanagement tool,
But there are also DE’s that have been a bit buggy with that.
I know that XFCE had some issue with their powermanagement application.
But they seem to have improved on that allot.

Everything you said is correct. CentOS is very similar to RHEL and Fedora is a close second. (well, technically Amazon Linux is second, but that’s for AWS only, so we don’t count it)

If you’re trying to get used to the idiosyncrasies of the RHEL world, CentOS or Fedora will suit you equally well.

@MisteryAngel Yes. KDE is definitely more lightweight, but I doubt you can get it to beat a stock XFCE installation. I don’t want to turn this into dick measuring, the whole point of my comment above was that KDE provides more functionality and has a different focus vs XFCE’s goals. Honestly, I dislike them both equally simply because they don’t fit my workflow well. I’m moving back to i3 this weekend.

If I remember that correctly, it was quite a while ago. I do hope they’ve fixed it.

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Agree, of course its not my goal to start a DE war on this either.
XFCE, LXDE, LXQT are ofc allways the better choice if it has to be lightweight.
But basiclly you can do allot of tweaks to a said DE to improve battery life.

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Don’t forget about powertop

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I’ve been using Debian for years, so the latest incarnation of Red Hat will take some getting used to. The last time I used Red Hat was Red Hat 5. Not RHEL 5, but the Red Hat 5 that came with a book and CD-ROM. I had a lot of issues with RPM database corruption across multiple versions/distros/installs of Red Hat, Caldera and I think Mandrake. For some reason apt always worked much better for me…

To get back on topic, I will try CentOS with TLP for a while. I’ve got an extra disk in this laptop, so I’ll try running a Fedora 27 with XFCE (it’s in the repo, right?) to compare w/ CentOS.

Maybe also try using powerstat? This tool can monitor your power consumption in watts, divides battery size will give your the running time. It is also very obvious which situation will consume more battery using this tool.

LXDE or XCFE desktop environment with TLP installed and tweaked. (Underclocked etc.) Screen brightness 35-50% Should give about double the battery life

I get great battery life on my P50 with ubuntu 17.10 (Around 6+ hours under medium load)
using tools like tlp and powertop can significantly improve battery life.

If you’re studying for RHCSA/RHCE, don’t rely purely on Fedora.

However, Fedora is a phenomenal operating system. My favorite, Debian being a very close second.

CentOS on the desktop as a desktop is sometimes difficult. I second TLP. However, “worst case”, rock Fedora with CentOS VMs.

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Basically Ubuntu. And for the fanatics, Arch Linux.
Ubuntu is what the OEM’s that ship linux desktop installs use. And thus it has come to include most of the kernel optimizations etc for laptops by default.

Only thing left to do is install tlp, if it’s not auto installed.
And chose a low power DE like XFCE. Also turn of background services and use the appropriate power management rules for wireless, screen and hdd.

Disabling Optimus dedicated GPU’s in laptops that have them is also really important. Those things will drink the power.

If using KDE, get rid of akonadi. That thing is an abomination of a background service with it’s mysql database and all.

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Book and a CD-ROM. Oh, those were the days!