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I have attempted to use the GNOME battery applet, and also a battery gdesklet; and neither will display the battery charge. I have ACPI and APM compiled into the kernel, and the acpid daemon is running. I am running Slackware 10.0 with the 2.6.7 kernel on a Dell Inspiron 5100 laptop. I am truly stumped, any help/suggestions would be greatly appeciated.
I may be wrong in this but I am pretty sure ACPI and APM were mutually exclusive. My understanding is APM is the older API and is being replaced by ACPI. If you compile both into the kernel only one will be used, I have no idea which though.
My guess is APM is being used incorrectly therefore the acpid won't have anything to work with.
Try recompiling without APM or try APM=off as a boot option.
EDIT: Took a peek at the 2.6.7 kernel docs. APM and ACPI are mutually exclusive. If both are available whichever is loaded first will be used. try disabling APM and see if that works.
Use ACPI just like Mephisto said. To see if it is working examine your dmesg output for ACPI messages like this "dmesg | grep 'ACPI' " you should be able to see a message about ACPI able to pick up battery information. After that look in /proc/acpi and search for battery status information, I forget the exact name of the file but it is in there some where. Good luck.
Well I did a google for "Dell Inspiron 5100 Linux" And get quite a few pages discussing the battery problem for the 2.4 kernel. In 2.4.x the answer was to patch the kernel with a DSDT, I don't know if the same procedure applies to 2.6.x however.
I acutally had no issues with the 2.4.x kernel and the battery meter. After recompiling ACPI into the 2.4.x kernel it worked perfectly. However, apparently not the same applies to 2.6.x. I'll have a look at that site.