Thursday, March 23, 2006

KPowersave 0.5.11 - last RC before stable v0.6

Yesterday I released the next KPowersave version on and added a announcement on (and today on freshmeat and forge.novell). This release (v0.5.11-rc5) is planed as the last release candidate before the next stable release since September 2005.

I fixed the handling of set brightness. In the previous version KPowersave allowed to use all available brightness level to be set. But e.g. on machines with PMU brightness interface the lowest level off the display. From now only the last usable brightness level, defined by powersave, can be set. With powersave >= 0.12.7 you can now also change the brighness on machines supported by pmu and omnibook module.

On a request I added a function to check if the machine is a laptop, by asking HAL. Now KPowersave display laptop specific widgets and functionality only on laptops. I think this is now less confusing for the user of workstations which not expect to be able to configure lidclose handling.

The new version also include: handbook, translation and documentation updates and fixes; a Slackware specific fix again; some code cleanups and a little fix to prepare for QT4. I added furthermore a patch from Holger Macht to allow the root user always all kind of suspend/standby independent from the powersave settings for the other users.

Fell free to download the current version (available for SUSE, Fedora Core 4, Mandriva and I think in the next days also for Debian and U/Kubuntu). All bugreports are welcome for the stable release.

The last two weeks ...

I didn't wrote anything here since two weeks. So here a update about some of the issues I worked on in this time:

  • I installed the first time a SUSE Linux 10.1 Beta 7 on a Apple iBook G4. The installation process is really abortive compared to normal install on ix86 or x86_64. By the way powersave also work on ppc and I tested (K)Powersave on this machine. Suspend to Disk work perfect, but I could not get Suspend to RAM running on this machine. Looks as if this not work on ppc via apm, need to investigate if this maybe is possible somehow via pmu. I added support for change brightness on machines with pmu support to powersave.
  • I also added brightness support for the omnibook kernel module. They released now a updated version of the package and now you can also unload the module on a 2.6.x kernel. I try to build a km_omnibook package in the next days.
  • Added more support for TabletPCs to HAL. From now HAL set automatically the serial port (by call the correct setserial command) for the Wacom Tablets if they are detected. Because HAL starts early enough before the X server this addon should be able to activate the port to be used in X. I also added a FDI file to set the correct ttyS* device on machines where we should not use ttyS0.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

KPowersave 0.5.10-rc4 released

Yesterday I released the next KPowersave version. This new release candidate (yes we are now at RC4 and there follow also some more rc's, because of the changed releaseplan for SUSE 10.1) depends now on powersave >= 0.12.2.

I fixed, based on a report on powersave-devel, the handling of the lidclose event. Now KPowersave call 'xset dpms force off ' on lidclose and reset the dpms and screensaver settings on lidopen to off the LCD backlights. Also included: a fix to display processor infos on multiprocessor/-core machines for all CPUs/cores also on non-CPUFreq/throttling machines, a fix from Daniel Gollub to read throttling informatation also on multiprocessor machines, a fix to display battery infos in the detailed dialog only if at least one batterybay is available. While porting to Mandriva, I made also some autotool releated changes: changed detection of Mandriva and read location/name of the D-BUS system socket from pkgconfig. I added at least a patch from Michael Biebl to use pkgconfig from powersave for checks and linking.

With this version the packagesize increased to ~3.3 MByte because I updated and added missing screenshots for the localized handbook versions and added a icon to avoid problems on non-SUSE distributions. The changes also include language updates.

The last release was really successful! It was, after released, downloaded 1421 times in the first seven days from the project page at sourceforge. This is nearly the same as normaly in one complete month (~1500 downloads). I don't know who are all the people which downloaded the files but I like it and hope they like and use KPowersave. The most downloads was for SUSE and the source tar.bz2 but also many downloads for Fedora Core 4.

Saturday, March 04, 2006

KPowersave/powersave for Mandriva

I released today our first packages of KPowersave and powersave for Mandriva 2006.1. It was a hard work to get both packages running and packaged for Mandriva. They have no matching DBUS, HAL and not the correct version of cpufrequtils in there stable release and unfortunately I also could not find the needed devel rpms on the 2006.1 release CDs. Because of this I used 2006.1 and needed to update several packages to Cooker - the testing/devel three of Mandriva.

There where also some problems with the DBUS configuration for powersave. As it look the desktopuser is not in the group at_console - thus I needed to open the powersave interface for default. Btw. now powersave and KPowersave work on Mandriva. I released packages for ix86 on the project home on

There are some point to consider if you install (K)powersave on Mandriva:
  • you need to update HAL (>=, DBUS (>=0.61) and install cpufrequtils (>=0.4) via RpmDrake from Cooker
  • if you use a ACPI machine you need acpid
  • you have the choise, uninstall these packages or be sure that the related services are not running parallel to powersave: apmd, cpufreq, cpufreqd, powernowd . If you not stop/remove these services you can get in races with the powersave daemon
  • currenly the user need to add powersaved manually to the boot process wirth chkconfig. At the moment I do this not automatically while install the rpm.
These packages are the initial version and my first Mandriva rpms. If there are any bugs feel free to mail to Any comments and suggestions are welcome.

Thursday, March 02, 2006

KPowersave 0.5.9-rc3 released

Yesterday I released a new KPowersave release candidate (RC3). This new version (v0.5.9) fixes APM support in KPowersave. I found several problems with battery informatiion on APM with the applet tooltip and the information dialog which based on bugs in powersave. Looks as APM was not really tested with powersave since the HAL support was added. I fixed this in powersave and also the battery state if no battery is available. Because of this changes KPowersave depends now on the new powersave version 0.12.1.

With the new powersave version I registered that HAL poll every 2 seconds /proc/apm. The apm interface recalculate with each read the remaining time. Thus HAL change with each poll the battery remaining time properties and send events over D-Bus. If we get every 2 seconds new events in powersave and with it also in KPowersave we use the D-BUS more often than with ACPI if the machine is on battery. Everyone say DBUS doen't need much CPU, but in this case (APM/battery/powersave/kpowersave/2 second poll in HAL) the DBUS daemon produce a CPU usage between 5 and 25 %. This is IMO to much - we need to investigate what the reason is.

In fact the APM handling in HAL is complete broken. HAL should not poll battery information every 2 seconds. This is okay to get AC information, but not for remaining time. I plan to rewrite APM in HAL: poll AC every 2 seconds, poll battery every 30-60 seconds and compute the remainig time over the percentage because the APM remainig time information are not really trustable and APM does not provide remainig time for changing mode. Here a list of the major changes in KPowersave since 0.5.6 (the last version I wrote about here):
  • removed the sound settings from the configure dialog and replaced this functionality with KNotify support (thanks to Michael Biebl), added more KNotify events to KPowersave (now with KNotify support the user can play sound, change the type of notification and/or start e.g. a programm or script for a event)
  • fixed CPU information on machines with throttling support and on machines without CPUfreq or throttling support
  • several GUI fixes in the information dialog
  • some fixes to be more portable (autotool fixes and fixed path to pidof for autosuspend on FC4)
  • string, translation and handbook fixes and updates