Power management software for Linux lovers

Summary:OK, I admit it, I've been very remiss. Not once in this blog have I written about a power management utility intended for those of you with Linux desktops.

OK, I admit it, I've been very remiss. Not once in this blog have I written about a power management utility intended for those of you with Linux desktops. So, happy to report that I've come across an option from MiserWare called Granola. Yes, honest to gosh, that is the name.

The software was first released on Earth Day in April and when I first connected with the MiserWare CEO Kirk Cameron, he said there were 100,000-plus downloads in the first 100 days. I'll note that that number isn't necessary all on Linux, because the software comes for both Windows AND Linux desktops.

What makes this power management software different from any other of the dozens of utilities that have emerged for reducing power consumption on desktop client devices? Cameron says it's the fact that it will automatically gate your CPU usage without actually turning the system on or off. It works with the existing power management setting of your existing Linux distribution and improves the performance of the CPU governors that are already built into your system, running in the background so that it doesn't mess noticeably with performance. Oh, yes, did I mention that it's free?

MiserWare predicts that you'll save about 211.6 kilowatt hours per year, or about 41.1 percent of the CPU energy. The carbon footprint offset works out to be the equivalent of a 500-mile flight.

Because I can't believe this is possibly the only option that Linux lovers have, I did a bit of poking around for other resources for those of you interested in power management options and practices for your Linux infrastructure. Here are a couple of the sites that I found most relevant:

  • LessWatts.org bills itself as a community for Linux users who are trying to get a better grip on power management, with a specific focus on Intel-based hardware. It even offers ideas for handheld operating system usage.
  • The Linux Online information site offers advanced power management techniques
  • Jupiter is a Linux applet specifically intended for laptops and netbooks
  • There is also something called WattOS, a lightweight Linux OS distribution that was originally intended to squeeze better power out of older hardware.

I don't use Linux myself, so I can't vouch for all these resources. I am also sure there are others, which the community will inform me about once I push this button. I promise to update you about the ones that appear to be most relevant and that have the most mainstream potential.

Topics: Enterprise Software, Linux, Open Source


Heather Clancy is an award-winning business journalist specializing in transformative technology and innovation. Her articles have appeared in Entrepreneur, Fortune Small Business, The International Herald Tribune and The New York Times. In a past corporate life, Heather was editor of Computer Reseller News. She started her journalism lif... Full Bio

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