Laptop Power Saving: Enable Laptop Mode in Ubuntu

Last updated: January 28, 2014

Power Saving

Laptop mode is a kernel “mode” that allows you to extend the battery life of your laptop. It does this by making disk write activity “bursty”, so that only reads of uncached data result in a disk spinup. It causes a significant improvement in battery life (for usage patterns that allow it).

Laptop Mode Tools is the primary way to enable the Laptop Mode feature of the Linux kernel, which lets your hard drive spin down. In addition, it allows you to tweak a number of other power-related settings using a simple configuration file.

Laptop Mode Tools was a command line only tool until version 1.64, which introduces a GUI that lets you toggle individual power saving modules.

Laptop Mode Tools in Ubuntu

At the moment the version 1.64 is only available in the Ubuntu 14.04 repository. For Ubuntu 13.10, Ubuntu 12.10, Ubuntu 13.04 and Ubuntu 12.04, you can install it from the Webupd8 PPA.

Install Laptop Mode Tools:

NOTE: Laptop Mode Tools is in conflict with TLP. Don’t use them in the same time!

For Ubuntu 14.04, search for and install laptop-mode-tools from Ubuntu Software Center.

For Ubuntu 13.10, Ubuntu 13.04, Ubuntu 12.10 and Ubuntu 12.04, press Ctrl+Alt+T on your keyboard to open the terminal. When it opens, run the commands below one by one:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:webupd8team/unstable

sudo apt-get update

sudo apt-get install laptop-mode-tools

If you don’t like the PPAs, you can manually download the deb from HERE.

Once installed, the Laptop Mode should be enabled by default. To launch the configuration tool, run the command below in terminal:

gksu lmt-config-gui

You can also find the configuration files in /etc/laptop-mode.


I'm a freelance blogger who started using Ubuntu in 2007 and wishes to share my experiences and some useful tips with Ubuntu beginners and lovers. Please comment to remind me outdated tutorial! And, notify me if you find any typo/grammar/language mistakes. English is not my native language. Contact me via [email protected] Buy me a coffee:

One response to Laptop Power Saving: Enable Laptop Mode in Ubuntu

  1. thank you for this blog really helpful.

    i was wondering if this tweak works on ubuntu 16.04, and it is safe to slow the spinning speak of an HDD?