Squeeze More Battery Life from Your Linux Netbook with Jupiter

Dmitri Popov

Productivity Sauce

Jul 02, 2010 GMT
Dmitri Popov

One of the major selling points of Eee PC netbooks is their impressive battery life which is achieved by utilizing the Asus Super Hybrid Engine (SHE) technology. While it's designed to work under Windows, you can take advantage of this technology if you're running a Linux distro on your Eee PC, courtesy of the Jupiter utility. Although this tool is designed primarily for Eee PC netbooks, it works well on pretty much any notebook. So if you want to squeeze as much battery life from your machine as you can, Jupiter is worth a try.

Jupiter's Web site provides DEB and RPM binary packages, so you can easily install the utility on any Linux distro that uses these package formats. If you are installing Jupiter on an Eee PC, you need to install two packages: jupiter and jupiter-support-eee. On any other notebook or netbook, the jupiter package would suffice. Once up and running, Jupiter places a lightning bolt icon in the tray menu. Using the icon, you can quickly switch between different performance modes. Besides that, Jupiter lets you control other aspects of your netbook: you can enable and disable WiFi, Bluetooth, and touchpad (provided Jupiter detects these devices), select a different screen resolution, and switch between internal and external displays.

By default, Jupiter doesn't support keyboard shortcuts, but you can easily add them manually using scripts installed with the utility. The easiest way to do this on Ubuntu is to use the Ubuntu Tweak tool. To create a keyboard shortcut that cycles through the available performance modes, launch Ubuntu Tweak and switch to the Personal | Shortcut Commands section. Select an empty command entry, enter the sudo /usr/lib/jupiter/scripts/cpu-control command in the Command field, specify the desired keyboard shortcut in the Key field, and you're done. You can find a list of supported commands you can use with keyboard shortcuts on the project's Web site.


  • actually

    Whining about what language someone developed something in just makes the person whining look stupid.

    Social pressure over software choices doesn't accomplish anything, it just makes the community look immature. I would rather have an app that does what I need written in Mono than no app at all. Whining constantly over things as petty as a language choice will just drive people that could make good software off of the platform.

    Does it matter if it was built with a Stanley Hammer over Craftsman? No, so grow up and get over it already.
  • don't have the right

    Someone has been saying "You don't have the right to moan and complain about the language the author used".

    Of course people have the right to moan and complain. That'd be free speech, wouldn't it? It might be argued that it isn't polite, but that's about it. But I think what really bothers certain people is that moaning and complaining might be effective--not so much on any given project, but if everyone consistently moans and complains every time some otherwise cool app turns up written with Mono, people thinking about writing cool little apps will conclude that they'll get lots more kudos and lots less grief if they use something else instead, and Mono will see less use.
    It's called social pressure, it's a major way politics is done, and it's perfectly legitimate. There's no ethic that says it's only OK to interact as a passive consumer rather than as an active citizen. This is open source we're talking about here, not buying shrinkwrapped software from Microsoft.
  • mono? what about Gnome?

    Does mono imply that it has Gnome dependencies too? If so, is there a similar tool for KDE'rs?
  • It doesnt take...

    ...i wouldn't worry too much . it doesn't pull the entire mono enviroment . it depends on afew libs for interraction. i think at top use its takes roughtly around 4meg - not exactly a detrimental effect - just delete an mp3 or ogg track big-smile
  • An alternative without Mono dependencies.

    An alternative without Mono dependencies.

  • Mono

    You could just fork Jupiter. The inner core is based on scripts, so ditching the C# gui won't be that hard...
  • C# / Mono

    C# is not that heavy, and Mono executables are much lighter than python. The runtime requirement for Mono apps is just a few MB of disk space at most. If you do not like Mono then do not use the app. It is that simple. Quit whining.
  • Why mono

    Yeah, I can't understand why anyone would code in C# if the target environment is Linux/Unix. For small distros, the mono infrastructure is too big, plus there is a performance penalty of not using a true native compiler.

    If the author wanted to code in C#, then Vala would have been a better choice. Vala is similar to C# but is a true compiler. It translates to C then uses Gnu C compiler. Although Vala is thought of in relation to Gnome/GTK, it doesn't have to be. In fact, you can code tiny CLI apps.

    Note, the Vala compiler also support Genie, a Python-like syntax.
  • Read

    "That's even completely ignoring the "Is mono free?" argument. "
  • So, make a choice, already

    So, just make a choice. If Mono is so repugnant to you, chose shorter battery life. If Mono isn't such a big deal to you, enjoy longer battery life (I did!). Free choice. That's it. You don't have the right to complain and moan about the language the dev used. Instead, chose to re-write the program(s) in another language that appeals to you and your "morals". Free choice. That's it, that's all. --AA
  • Requires Mono

    While this may be a great utility, I was stopped cold when investigating compiling this for my Eee because it states on their web page that it's written in C#, thus requiring Mono.

    Bringing in the whole mono environment on a nettop where disk space is at such a premium (like the 4G SSD drive found on some Eee PCs) is a no-go. That's even completely ignoring the "Is mono free?" argument.
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