Recently I went through boxes of old stuff and discovered a few very old laptops (early 2000's) full of dust. Instead of throwing them away I decided to install a very light system SparkyLinux onto the laptop and make it a home server mainly for torrent download and executing a few scripts at times. Everything went on smoothly but I soon discovered the laptop generates a lot of heat, so I tried to figure ways to save energy when it is not in used.

I only use a few services: ssh-server, vnc server, ftp server, torrent client mainly. Not planning to run apache as there is no need.

First I tried to turn off the monitor when it was boot up because I will only be accessing the machine via ftp/ssh/vnc, there is really no point keeping the monitor on. So I tired to add xset -display :0.0 dpms force off at the last line of .bashrc because I have set the machine to auto login. But that does not seem to work. How can I turn off the monitor as soon as the machine is up and running? Now I use a cronjob to turn the monitor off every 5 minutes.

Another bigger problem is the disk. It generates a lot of heat so I tried to lookup ways to slow down the disk or even put it to standby/sleep when it is not needed.

I have currently set hdparm -B 32 /dev/sda so it is in a relatively low power mode. Is this setting persistent? Do I need to set it again on the next boot? Also, if the machine is sometimes used as a torrent client, what would be a good strategy to put the drive in standby mode when torrent client is not on? Should I simply go for a hdparm -S 120 /dev/sda or write a little script or use cron to manually put the disk to standby/sleep like hdparm -y /dev/sda every 30 minutes?

  • You do not need to run X on it – Rui F Ribeiro Jun 11 '18 at 7:56
  • Power management in Linux is a slippery slope. There are many settings, options, configurations, many of them hardware-specific and not full tested. I suggest to use tool such as TLP [ github.com/linrunner/TLP ] which collects many options and are able to set them automatically. – mattia.b89 Jul 1 '18 at 15:44

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