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  1. #1
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    Default Can linux improve my battery life?

    Is there a usb/cd bootable distro that can do the following?

    1) Has a word processor (can be a basic one)
    2) Has the ability to save to an external memory device (a sd card)

    I only use my notebook for taking notes in class. It would be great if I could increase the battery life by finding a distribution that minimized system resource utilization.

    I remember using Knoppix a long time ago, I am currently downloading it now, but I am open to any suggestions or answers to if it will increase my battery life or not.

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    Default Re: Can linux improve my battery life?

    Every Linux distro I know of has those two aspects your are looking for.
    That's really a very basic requirement - I would argue that the popular distros rival any other for-pay OS, and programs such as OpenOffice.org could easily take on MS Office for features and functionality.

    I do not know about increasing your battery life, however. It really depends on what you are doing, and how performance tuned your distro is (or has been tweaked to). If you want to try out a 'bootable' distro, try one of the popular distros that has a LiveCD option. I think you will be surprised how complete Linux really is.
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    Default Re: Can linux improve my battery life?

    any linux distribution will be very complete...

    but as for increasing battery life, not likely, unfortunately. There is laptop-mode-tools, which allows you to have pretty fine-grained control over harddrive spindown and CPU frequency scaling.

    Realistically, there is relatively little that a "lightweight" distro can do to improve battery life, since none of them are going to include any undervolting for the CPU with their base install. You will still have to power the backlight and harddrive, which are probably the biggest power drains in the whole PC.
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    Default Re: Can linux improve my battery life?

    I've actually found that Linux will decrease my battery life, mostly because it doesn't have the same undervolting tools and such that Windows does. You might try something like RMClock to lower the voltage of your CPU (look in the hardware forum), and turn the brightness of your LCD down as low as you can handle it while using it. Those two steps will increase your battery life more than anything. Also, if your battery is more than a couple of years old, that will shorten it's life. You might consider a new one, possibly a larger one than the stock battery.
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    Default Re: Can linux improve my battery life?

    Also, don't run composite effects... those 3D desktop toys will eat your battery too (same with windows Aero)
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    Default Re: Can linux improve my battery life?

    Lots of great help from our resident Linux gurus...

    Quote Originally Posted by BigV View Post
    You will still have to power the backlight and harddrive, which are probably the biggest power drains in the whole PC.
    Absolutely. Make sure that you can reduce your brightness when you are on battery, and also minimise optical drive usage, if you can.

    Quote Originally Posted by Pitabred View Post
    Also, if your battery is more than a couple of years old, that will shorten it's life. You might consider a new one, possibly a larger one than the stock battery.
    This is a good alternative. I think people forget that batteries wear out, so it may be time to get a new one as Pita says.

    Quote Originally Posted by pyro9219 View Post
    Also, don't run composite effects... those 3D desktop toys will eat your battery too (same with windows Aero)
    Another +1 here. The composite effects are only tasking your GPU more, and will undoubtedly reduce the battery life. The effect on battery drain (rate of excess discharge) is going to change depending on if you have dedicated or integrated graphics, but overall, Beryl/Compiz is going to decrease battery life.
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    Default Re: Can linux improve my battery life?

    Thanks for the help guys

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    Default Re: Can linux improve my battery life?

    No problem I'd suggest just booting the machine, then killing the X server. Just take notes in vi in text mode... that'll save all kinds of battery

    If you haven't removed Windows, I've also found that RMClock/NHC will undervolt your CPU quite effectively, and that will increase the battery life noticeably if you're doing anything more intensive than just taking notes.
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    Default Re: Can linux improve my battery life?

    I actually find that my battery time is noticeably better under linux. Too many background apps like firewall/anti-virus constantly taking up cpu time under Windows.

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    Default Re: Can linux improve my battery life?

    Well, I turn all that crap off in Windows, so it's about the same life. I haven't actually tested it to be honest. And I really can't be bothered
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