Installation

Does TLP conflict with other power management tools?

Yes. Using another tool simultaneously means that TLP’s settings get overwritten by the other tools settings (and vice versa), so actual power saving gets unpredictable. Special cases are explained in the following.

Warning

Conflict with power-profiles-daemon

power-profiles-daemon (contained in GNOME 40 and newer) might be contained in the default install of your distribution.

Symptom: power-profiles-daemon.service prevents TLP from making power saving settings at system startup. A check with

systemctl status power-profiles-daemon.service tlp.service

generates the following output in the conflict case:

● power-profiles-daemon.service - Power Profiles daemon
     Loaded: loaded (/lib/systemd/system/power-profiles-daemon.service; enabled; vendor preset: enabled)
     Active: active (running) since Wed 2021-09-08 09:55:50 CEST; 2min 13s ago
   Main PID: 413 (power-profiles-)
      Tasks: 3 (limit: 4506)
     Memory: 1.1M
     CGroup: /system.slice/power-profiles-daemon.service
             └─413 /usr/libexec/power-profiles-daemon

Sep 08 09:55:50 host systemd[1]: Starting Power Profiles daemon...
Sep 08 09:55:50 host systemd[1]: Started Power Profiles daemon.

● tlp.service - TLP system startup/shutdown
     Loaded: loaded (/lib/systemd/system/tlp.service; enabled; vendor preset: enabled)
     Active: inactive (dead)
       Docs: https://linrunner.de/tlp

Beginning with version 1.4 tlp start and tlp-stat -s will also detect the conflict:

Error: conflicting power-profiles-daemon.service is enabled, power saving will not apply on boot.
>>> Invoke 'systemctl mask power-profiles-daemon.service' to correct this!

Solution: disable power-profiles-daemon with

sudo systemctl mask power-profiles-daemon.service

and reboot.

Powertop: please refer to Powertop.

thermald: thermald’s purpose is to limit power dissipation before the laptop’s temperature gets critical. TLP enables power saving features globally to optimize battery power especially in idle and low workload situations. TLP does not conflict with thermald.

throttled: only throttled’s dynamic HWP_Mode setting interferes with TLP’s actions. If you want to use it, disable the feature in TLP by configuring CPU_ENERGY_PERF_POLICY_ON_AC=””.

Must I enable TLP’s systemd service units?

Symptoms: tlp-stat -s shows

Error: tlp.service is not enabled, power saving will not apply on boot.
>>> Invoke 'systemctl enable tlp.service' to correct this!

and/or

Error: tlp-sleep.service is not enabled, power saving will not apply on boot.
>>> Invoke 'systemctl enable tlp-sleep.service' to correct this!

Answer: yes, the service units are indispensable for correct operation:

  • tlp.service: applies power saving settings and charge thresholds as well as switching radio devices on system boot and shutdown

  • tlp-sleep.service: applies powers saving upon system suspend and resume (not applicable for version 1.3 and higher)

Note

Debian, Fedora and Ubuntu enable the service by default as part of the package Installation, others such as Arch Linux don’t. If unsure check the output of tlp-stat -s for corresponding notes.

Does TLP run on my laptop (not a ThinkPad)?

TLP runs on every laptop brand. A few features are available on IBM/Lenovo ThinkPads only.

Does TLP make sense on newer laptops / with newer Linux versions?

Yes, of course.

The Linux kernel has accumulated many power saving features over the years, but not all are enabled by default. It seems to be really hard for the kernel developers to fully debug power saving on all possible hardware, so power saving stays disabled for many drivers and it’s up to the user to enable it.

Conclusion: a userspace tool like TLP is still needed to enable power saving globally.

Should I install TLP inside a virtual machine?

No. It is not effective to run a power management tool inside a virtual machine guest. Install TLP in the host operating system instead.

Ubuntu/Debian: I do not use Network Manager, how do I install tlp without tlp-rdw?

sudo apt install --no-install-recommends tlp

Ubuntu: How do I prevent the installation of postfix as a dependency?

The package tlp recommends smartmontools which pulls postfix (via recommends too). Use:

sudo apt install --no-install-recommends tlp tlp-rdw ethtool smartmontools

My Linux distribution does not provide a TLP package, how do I install it?

See Other Linux Distributions.

How do I install TLP on a development release of my distribution?

TLP packages for new distribution versions appear in due time for the release. If you want to use TLP with alpha or beta releases, download the packages for the predecessor and install them manually with your favorite package manager.

What if I want a GUI?

Get TLPUI.