How to check battery life on Ubuntu

If you are running Ubuntu Linux on a laptop, there are a few different ways that you can monitor the battery life of your system. Ubuntu makes this easy to do in the default GNOME desktop environment, but it is also possible to check the battery life from command line. In this tutorial, you will learn several methods to check the battery life on Ubuntu.

In this tutorial you will learn:

  • How to check battery life from GNOME desktop
  • How to enable battery percentag display
  • How to use the Power Statistics application
  • How to check Ubuntu battery life from command line
How to check battery life on Ubuntu
How to check battery life on Ubuntu
Software Requirements and Linux Command Line Conventions
Category Requirements, Conventions or Software Version Used
System Ubuntu Linux
Software N/A
Other Privileged access to your Linux system as root or via the sudo command.
Conventions # – requires given linux commands to be executed with root privileges either directly as a root user or by use of sudo command
$ – requires given linux commands to be executed as a regular non-privileged user

How to check battery life on Ubuntu



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  1. The easiest way to check your system’s battery life is by looking at the icon in the top right corner of your screen. You will also see how much longer remains before the battery is fully charged if it is currently charging. This is assuming that you are using the GNOME desktop environment (the default for Ubuntu), but should be very similar on any other GUI in Linux.
    The upper right corner contains an icon that displays Ubuntu's battery life
    The upper right corner contains an icon that displays Ubuntu’s battery life
  2. You can also change the performance mode of your laptop if you want to conserve battery life or use system resources more liberally at the cost of more battery consumption.
    Adjusting the performance mode, which directly affects battery life
    Adjusting the performance mode, which directly affects battery life
  3. For even more battery settings or to see a larger display of battery life, open the Settings menu and check out the Power tab. Along with other information and settings, there is an option at the bottom of the menu to toggle battery life percentage on or off. Enabling this setting will give you a more precise idea about how much battery life your system has.
    The Power tab in Settings menu, with the battery percentage option
    The Power tab in Settings menu, with the battery percentage option
  4. With battery percentage information enabled, we can see exactly how much battery life our system has in the upper right corner of the screen. In this case, we have 97%.



    The battery icon now shows exactly how much life we have left
    The battery icon now shows exactly how much life we have left

  5. Open the Activities menu and search for the “Power Statistics” application to see even more information about your system’s battery life and pertinent settings.
    Search for and open the Power Statistics application on Ubuntu
    Search for and open the Power Statistics application on Ubuntu

    The Power Statistics applications will show detailed information about your system’s battery. You can also click on the History or Statistics tab to see other information.

    Power Statistics on Ubuntu
    Power Statistics on Ubuntu
  6. It is also possible to check the battery life on Ubuntu from command line. Open up a terminal and execute the following command:
    $ upower -i $(upower -e | grep 'BAT')
    

    Note that you may want to grep for certain information, as this output is quite verbose and thorough.

    Checking Ubuntu battery life from command line
    Checking Ubuntu battery life from command line


Closing Thoughts

In this tutorial, we saw how to check the battery life on an Ubuntu Linux system. This included the visible icon from GNOME desktop, the Power tab of the Settings menu, the Power Statistics application, and with the upower command in terminal. All of these methods are available by default in Ubuntu, and gives users plenty of options to check their laptop’s battery life.