Linux laptops, revisited (can any sleep like my PowerBook does?)

Shane Hathaway shane at hathawaymix.org
Tue Jan 22 01:08:48 MST 2008


Michael L Torrie wrote:
> You've inadvertently confirmed what I am coming to fear.  That
> suspending doesn't just work.  As you experience, hibernating to disk
> works for the vast majority of users on most laptops (or even desktops).
>  Mainly because it has nothing much to do with power management.
> Suspending, in my mind, means suspend to RAM (sleep).  I would be
> interested to hear of your experiences with this.

My Thinkpad T43, running Gentoo, suspends to RAM within 5 seconds after 
I shut the lid.  Resuming takes about 10 seconds, I think.  Sleeping is 
reliable enough that I don't think twice anymore about shutting the lid 
and picking up the laptop any time I like.  There are rare times when I 
can't resume (the screen comes on but nothing happens until I hard 
reset), but I think that only happens when the battery jiggles a little 
loose during transport.

My wife's laptop also tries to suspend to RAM when she shuts it, but 
about half the time it runs into some bug and stays on.  However, it 
seems to have the same bug in both Windows and Linux.  I'm glad we got a 
Durabook for her, since it has survived 3 foot falls onto a stone tile 
floor with hardly a scratch.  However, since it's not a very popular 
brand, it's hard to get support for hardware bugs.

> After using my powerbook for 4 years or more, I don't know how anyone
> lives without it, or stands for anything other than fast suspend and
> resume.  Powering on and off the entire laptop (which is what hibernate
> aka suspend to disk still involves) is time consuming.  In this day and
> age we should expect/demand that our machines go to sleep very quickly
> and awake, ready for work, in the state we last left them, in just a
> second or two.  And I think I can legitimately demand this from linux on
> a thinkpad, of all machines.  I find it really odd how many of the folks
> I've talked to think hibernation is good enough.

How long can a disconnected Mac typically sleep without running its 
batteries out?  That's the real trick.  If my laptop could sleep for a 
little more than a week, I would no longer have a reason to shut it off. 
  Unfortunately, mine only lasts a couple of days.  I used to have a 
laptop that could automatically hibernate itself after a few hours of 
sleep, which was nice.  I haven't tried that trick on this one.

Shane




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