Last updated on October 26, 2020 by Dan Nanni
It is important to measure power consumption in operating system especially when you try to maximize the battery life of your laptop, or reduce the energy bill of rack-mounted servers in a data center. Power usage monitor can also be helpful to diagnose issues with power management, or even buggy behaviors of applications.
In this post, I will describe how to monitor power usage in Linux operating system.
For Linux-based systems, you can use
ncurses-based command-line tool developed by Intel to monitor process-level power consumption, and to provide suggestions to optimize power management.
PowerTop supports Intel, AMD, ARM, and UltraSparc processors while it is the most reliable on Intel processors for the obvious reason.
PowerTopon Ubuntu or Debian
$ sudo apt-get install powertop
PowerTopon CentOS, Fedora or RHEL
$ sudo yum install powertop
PowerTop, simply run:
$ sudo powertop
PowerTop is launched, you can press left/right arrow keys to navigate tab-based UI.
PowerTop can start reporting power estimates after it has collected enough measurements, which can take a couple of minutes. Previous measurements are stored in
/var/cache/powertop, and will be loaded upon subsequent
Tunables menu, you can experiment with various power management settings in case some tunable parameters are not enabled on your Linux distribution.
For offline analysis,
PowerTop allows you to export power monitoring results to csv or html format as follows.
$ sudo powertop --csv=output.csv $ sudo powertop --html=output.html
To get more accurate estimates, you can run
PowerTop in calibration mode as follows. The entire calibration process can take a couple of minutes. During calibration,
PowerTop can disconnect your system from WiFi, adjust screen brightness, and generate USB device activities.
$ sudo powertop --calibrate
Loaded 27 prior measurements Starting PowerTOP power estimate calibration Calibrating idle Calibrating: disk usage My (0) time 14986258702 is not the same as child (0) time 15395089845 Calibrating backlight .... device /sys/class/backlight/intel_backlight/brightness
The screenshots of
PowerTop are shown below.
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