Tlp is a command line utility we can use to optimize power consumption on Linux. It provides reasonable defaults, and, at the same time, an easy to understand text-based configuration file we can use to create our own setup. An external project provides a user-friendly GTK frontend to Tlp written in Python: Tlpui.
In this tutorial we learn how to install Tlpui as a flatpak, and how to use it to manage Tlp settings on Linux.
In this tutorial you will learn:
- How to install Tlpui as a flatpak
- How to use Tlpui to manage Tlp settings
- How to use Tlpui to retrieve power saving status information
|Category||Requirements, Conventions or Software Version Used|
|Other||Privileged access to your Linux system as root or via the
|Conventions||# – requires given linux-commands to be executed with root privileges either directly as a root user or by use of
$ – requires given linux-commands to be executed as a regular non-privileged user
Tlpui is a GTK frontend for Tlp (we saw how to use Tlp to optimize battery life on Linux in a previous tutorial, take a look at it if you want get the basics!). The project is free and open source: it is written in Python, actively developed on Github, and supports Tlp versions from
1.5. Let’s see how we can install it on our favorite Linux distribution!
Since at the moment of writing Tlpui is not directly available in any Linux distribution, the most straightforward way to install it, is by using flatpak. Flatpak, as you may know, is a relatively new technology which makes possibile to package an application with all its dependencies, and run it in a sandboxed environment (we have a lot of guides about flatpak, just take a look at them if you want to know more).
The first thing we must do, is to install the “flatpak” utility on our system. On Fedora, we can run:
$ sudo dnf install flatpak
To install the package on Debian and Debian-based distributions, instead, we can use
$ sudo apt install flatpak
pacman package manager can be used to perform the installation on Archlinux:
$ sudo pacman -S pacman
We can install the Tlpui flatpak from Flathub, therefore we have to add the repository as a software source:
$ flatpak --user remote-add --if-not-exists flathub https://dl.flathub.org/ repo/flathub.flatpakrepo
You may notice we didn’t prefixed the command above with sudo: this is because it is effective only in the context of our specific “user”. On single-user machines, this is the preferred method, since it doesn’t require privilege escalation. To use the command “globally”, you can just remove the
--user option, and launch it with elevated privileges. Once the Flathub repository is available, we can install Tlpui, by running:
$ flatpak --user install flathub com.github.d4nj1.tlpui
At this point we must confirm the installation of the flatpak together with its runtime dependencies, and accept requested privileges.
To execute Tlpui we just have to click on its desktop launcher under the “Settings” menu category. If the launcher is not visible, we may have to logout and log back in. As an alternative, we can launch Tlpui by running:
$ flatpak run com.github.d4nj1.tlpui
Tlpui interface is really clean and easy to navigate:
As you can see in the screenshot above, there are two main tabs available: “Configuration” and “Statistics”. The vertical menu on the left contains Tlp settings organized in categories (General, Audio, Disks, Graphics, etc…). Some of them are platform-independent and available on all machines, others are vendor-specific. For instance, you can see there is a “Thinkpads” category:
To save changes to Tlp configuration, we need to click on the “Save” button. Once we do, we will see the lines that would be altered in the Tlp configuration file as a “diff” output:
To actually save changes, we click on the “OK” button and provide our password to escalate privileges, since the Tlp configuration file belongs to the “root” user:
Retrieving power saving information
In the “Statistics” tab of Tlpui we can get the current power saving status by clicking on the “simple” or “complete” buttons. The
tlp-statutility is used to retrieve such information; in “simple” mode it is invoked with the following options:
$ tlp-stat --config --system --temp --rfkill --usb
Clicking on the “Complete” button, instead, is the equivalent of running tlp-stat without any option, so that it returns all available categories. For this reason the command requires running as root.
In this article we saw how to install and use Tlpui: a GTK frontend for Tlp. We saw how to install the application as a flatpak, how to navigate its interface, how to save modified settings, and finally, how to retrieve power saving information.