OSCon Thursday Part 2: Linux on laptops

Matthew Garrett

A lot of background on the state of laptop support in Linux. It worked reasonably well in the 90s, but with the migration to ACPI, has become much more complicated and less reliable in general, especially with suspend/resume and video.

Emporer Linux and System 76 produce Linux supported laptops.

I wanted some more in-depth technical information and found Matthew later on at the Intel booth. Here’s what I learned:

s2ram is little more than a wrapper around standard ACPI sleep that has options to do video mode save/restore

I asked him about all the many, many different userland laptop management tools. He recommends simple acpi-utils with the ondemand governor. laptop-mode-tools tries to do way too much, and there is little point to using a userland governor anymore.

I’ve been having a problem with my MacBook Pro (Core Duo) hanging on suspend about 10% of the time. I explained the symptoms and asked him how to go about debugging it. He suggested disabling console suspend and enabling PM debug in the kernel. I will give that a try and see what I get.

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