Power Settings

Provide access to basic hardware power management settings.


WilliamJonMcCann, AllanDay, RichardHughes

Relevant Art




gnome-general.png gnome-ac-power.png gnome-ups.png

MeeGo Netbook



  • Options to spin down hard drives are confusing - we can't expect users to understand the implications of these options. -- AllanDay

  • Options for screen brightness, dimming and blanking are in the screen panel. This is linked to, so they don't need to be reproduced here. -- AllanDay

  • The shell guidelines detail how stopping the system should work. This has a number of consequences for the power panel:

    • Hibernate is no longer a user visible concept.
    • Suspend is the primary means of stopping using the system.
    • The behaviour of the power hardware button and on closing a laptop lid is specified - we assume this behaviour; it shouldn't be configurable.
  • -- AllanDay

  • I think that having the power button and closing laptop lid suspend would be a good default, but not allowing the user to change it isn't a good idea - if the user wants to, they should be able to.

/!\ Edit conflict - other version:

  • I think that having the power button and closing laptop lid suspend would be a good default, but not allowing the user to change it isn't a good idea - if the user wants to, they should be able to.

/!\ Edit conflict - your version:

/!\ End of edit conflict

  • We should automatically detect when suspend/hibernate will not work and change the system behaviour and UI accordingly. This means:
    • Disabling suspend on lid close and hibernate on critical battery power.
    • Making the suspend options appear insensitive in the settings panel.
  • -- AllanDay

Tentative Design


For further guidance on layout, see:


Basic settings to control suspend and hibernate.

  • The hibernate option should be insensitive if the hardware capability is not present. That combobox should still be displayed, however.
  • The hibernate option only provided because we cannot reliably detect whether hardware supports it. We might want to consider removing it in the future or for particular hardware.

Device Status

Indicates the power status of the device itself.

  • The string indicates whether the device is charging or dischargin, and gives a time until it will be completely full or drained.


Example message

Charging & fully charged

Charging - fully charged


Charging - 55 minutes until fully charged


Using battery power - 55 minutes remaining

Caution - low battery

/!\ Caution - low battery, 10 minutes remaining

Running on UPS power

/!\ Using UPS power - 5 minutes remaining

Low UPS power

/!\ Caution - UPS is low, 1 minute remaining

Running on UPS and battery

/!\ Using UPS and battery power - 40 minutes remaining

  • A message is displayed when a secondary battery is either empty or full (indicating that the battery can be removed).
    • {i} Your secondary battery is empty

    • {i} Your secondary battery is fully charged

  • The charge indicator bar shows the current charge level as a proportion of the total possible charge. (When running off a UPS, the indicator bar displays the UPS charge level.)
    • The colour of the bar indicates the charge level. These colours correspond to those used in the icon theme:

Charge Level











  • All indications of charge levels (either time remaining or the indicator bar) are composite figures if more than one battery is present.

Connected Device Status

This section indicates the power status of connected devices. It follows the same design patterns that are used for device status.

  • Where charge/discharge time cannot be reliably predicted, descriptions of the charge level should fall back to a simpler vocabulary:
    • Non-rechargable devices - 'Full', 'Good', 'Low', 'Empty' (?) (avoid using the 'Caution' status)
    • Rechargeable devices - 'Charging - Full', etc

Design Updates

These designs are work in progress. They have a few aims:

  • Make the power panel more useful by allow people to change system settings that affect power consumption.
  • Rationalise the existing screen blanking and screen dimming functionality that is provided by the Brightness and Lock panel



Hi Resolution Mockup


Questions on the design

The design calls for some 'smart' behaviours. Those need to be described in more detail.

Is the Wi-Fi [On/Off] switch supposed to turn the wireless adaptor on and off, like a killswitch, or just enable power saving features for it ? Same question for Bluetooth.

If there are multiple wireless adaptors, do we show them individually ?


To understand what 'smart behaviour' might mean, here are the things we are dealing with:


  • ac
  • battery
  • charging
  • discharging
  • suspended
  • hibernated
  • off
  • multi monitor
  • lid open
  • lid closed
  • idle


  • battery full
  • battery low
  • battery critical
  • on ac
  • on battery
  • lid close
  • lid open
  • user goes idle
  • monitor connected
  • monitor disconnected


  • dim screen
  • turn off screen
  • change screen brightness
  • suspend
  • hibernate
  • power off
  • warn


  • on lid close, suspend
  • if idle for a while, dim the screen
  • if idle for a while, turn off the screen
  • if idle for a while, suspend
  • if battery is low, warn
  • if battery is critical, hibernate
  • if a button is pressed, suspend
  • if a button is pressed, hibernate
  • if a button is pressed, power off
  • if a button is pressed, change screen brightness
  • if screen saving is off, don't dim the screen
  • if the power is connected, don't dim the screen
  • if on battery power, dim and blank the screen
  • if battery power is low, dim and blank the screen more aggressively

See Also

Design/SystemSettings/Power (last edited 2013-09-15 14:48:53 by UnsolvedCypher)