Introduction

TLP is a feature-rich command line utility for Linux, saving laptop battery power without the need to delve deeper into technical details.

TLP’s default settings are already optimized for battery life, so you may just install and forget it. Nevertheless TLP is highly customizable to fulfil your specific requirements.

Important

TLP will take care of the majority of settings that powertop --autotune would, and with less trial and error, see Powertop.

Note

TLP is a pure command line utility. It does not contain a GUI.

How it works

What TLP basically does is tweaking kernel settings that affect power consumption.

So what are kernel settings?

First of all kernel settings are of a volatile nature. Their state is held in RAM during runtime and the kernel provides no persistence for them. Upon boot the kernel creates a default state and changes have to be re-applied on every boot by a user space tool. TLP is such a user space tool.

Most kernel settings TLP works on are exported to user space as sysfs nodes i.e. files below /sys/. The output of tlp-stat will show the paths.

Important

Not all sysfs nodes shown by tlp-stat are actually touched by TLP when applying settings, some are displayed for information or diagnostic purposes only.

Profiles

TLP provides two independent sets of Settings called profiles, one for battery (BAT) and one for AC operation. This means that TLP must apply the appropriate profile not only at boot, but also each time the power source changes.

Event-driven architecture

To achieve all of the above, TLP’s actions are event-driven. The following events will cause settings to be applied:

Charger plugged in (AC powered)

Applies the AC settings profile.

Charger unplugged (battery powered)

Applies the BAT settings profile.

USB device plugged in

Activates USB autosuspend mode for the device (if not excluded or denylisted).

System startup (boot)

Applies the settings profile corresponding to the current power source AC/BAT. Applies charge thresholds and switches bluetooth, Wi-Fi and WWAN devices depending on your individual settings (disabled in the default configuration).

System shutdown (power off)

Saves or switches bluetooth, Wi-Fi and WWAN device state and disables USB autosuspend depending on your individual settings (disabled in the default configuration).

System reboot

Same as shutdown, then continues with startup.

System suspend to ACPI Sleep States S3 (Suspend to RAM) or S4 (Suspend to disk)

Saves bluetooth, Wi-Fi and WWAN device states and powers off removable optical drives depending on your individual settings (disabled in the default configuration).

System resume from ACPI Sleep States S3 (Suspend to RAM) or S4 (Suspend to disk)

Applies the settings profile corresponding to the current power source AC/BAT. Restores charge thresholds and bluetooth, Wi-Fi and WWAN device states depending on your individual settings (disabled in the default configuration).

LAN, Wi-Fi, WWAN connected/disconnected or laptop docked/undocked (Radio Device Wizard)

Enables or disables builtin bluetooth, Wi-Fi and WWAN devices depending on your individual settings (disabled in the default configuration).

Note

  • TLP will not make dynamic or adaptive changes to the settings beyond the events described above

  • In particular, TLP will never adjust the settings due to CPU load, battery charge level or else

Important

TLP does not monitor the above events itself but relies on a range of system daemons, namely systemd, udevd and NetworkManager. Therefore TLP does not include a daemon and there is no permanent tlp background process showing up in the output of ps. Refer to Architecture for technical details.

Features

Power saving settings are organized into two profiles, enabling you to adjust between savings and performance independently for battery (BAT) and AC operation:

  • Kernel laptop mode and dirty buffer timeouts

  • Processor frequency scaling including ‘turbo boost’ and ‘turbo core’

  • Limit max/min P-state to control power dissipation of Intel CPUs

  • Intel CPU energy/performance policies HWP.EPP and EPB and HWP dynamic boost

  • Platform profile to control power/performance levels, thermal and fan speed

  • Hard disk advanced power magement level (APM) and spin down timeout (per disk)

  • AHCI link power management (ALPM) with device denylist

  • AHCI runtime power management for NVMe/SATA/USB disks and SATA ports

  • PCIe active state power management (ASPM)

  • Runtime power management for PCIe bus devices

  • Intel GPU frequency limits

  • AMD GPU power management

  • Wi-Fi power save

  • Enable/disable integrated bluetooth, Wi-Fi and WWAN devices

  • Power off removable optical drives (in drive bays)

  • Audio power save

Additional power saving settings - independent of the power source - are:

  • I/O scheduler (per disk)

  • USB autosuspend with device denylist/allowlist

  • Enable or disable radio devices (bluetooth, Wi-Fi and WWAN) upon boot and shutdown

  • Restore radio device state on boot (from previous shutdown)

  • Radio device wizard: enable/disable radios upon network connect/disconnect and dock/undock

  • Disable Wake-On-LAN

  • Bluetooth and WWAN state is restored after suspend/hibernate

Battery care settings are:

  • Charge thresholds and recalibration