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What's Sucking up the Most Power on Your Linux Servers?

Powertop Finds Power Hogs

  • December 14, 2010
  • By Joe Brockmeier
Conserving power in the datacenter is important, and Linux server admins have an excellent utility to help them track down power hogs. Joe Brockmeier introduces us to powertop.
Ever wonder what's sucking the life out of your Linux laptop's battery or contributing to higher electric bills in the server room? Check out Powertop, a tool for profiling a system to see what is using the most power.

Powertop was developed a few years ago to help profile systems and see what could be done to make Linux better at power savings. It was aimed primarily at laptops, as many folks would install Linux on a laptop and then find out that battery performance was far worse under Linux than Windows.

You don't even need to run Powertop to benefit from it. Some of the most common power-gulping culprits are listed on the LessWatts.org website. Many of these have been fixed in the upstream projects that caused unnecessary wakeups (like ntp waking up every second, or Pidgin checking every 5 seconds to check on idle time). Something as simple as a blinking cursor can cause a wake up every few seconds, and additional power consumption.

But you might want to get a look at what's going on...

Read the rest of Joe Brockmeier's powertop story at ServerWatch.com

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