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I've installed a dual-boot system with Ubuntu Dapper on my Thinkpad X60. Under Windows, if I'm doing a non-intensive task such as typing, I can get a battery life of almost 11 hours, provided that I choose "Maximum Battery Life" from the power scheme options. Under Ubuntu, there are no power sceme options, of course. I can manually dim the screen using the BIOS-based Fn keys, but as far as I can see it's the only power-related change I can easily make. Can anyone tell me how I can make Linux battery life last as long as Windows?
A few tips that might help. I doubt you'll get 11 hours like in Windoze. I have a feeling that the setting you choose in Win affects resource consumption - and that's a big factor in performance and battery life.
The first thing is to see about a cpu frequency scaling utility. I believe most or all distros don't include one. They include the kernel option to operate it, but it still requires the utility to be installed.
Then there's little things you can apply as you go. Avoid using the cd/dvd drive if possible, dim the screen as you've already done, use dark colors in your background and theme, use a lightweight window manager like Fluxbox or FVWM instead of KDE or Gnome, try not to access the hard disk much and avoid multitasking and source-compiling if possible.
A CPU scaling app- if Ubuntu has one, I don't know what it is. Can you recommend one I can ap-get?
It's not going to work without kernel support. OTOH, kernel governor alone can do it quite well. For instance, "conservative" set default in kernel should do the job. Provided kernel has Thinkpad add-on and correct CPU support enabled. I've no idea how Ubuntu stock kernel is configured, this is something you have to find out.