I used powertop v.2.1 under Ubuntu 12.04 but it missed the power est. column.It's the same situation as described https://bugzilla.redhat.com/show_bug.cgi?id=796068‎ and that bug is supposed to be fixed already.
I tried lm_sensors but it didn't give any voltage reading. Here's a log for sensors-detect and sesnors.
I am uncertain what caused the problem. I am running linux kernel 3.2.0-23-generic, ubuntu 12.04 distro on Lenovo thinkpad machine.
Are there any other linux utilty to monitor power consumption for different devices?

  • I see you've asked your question over on askubuntu as well. Cross posting the same question on the various Stack Exchange sites is discouraged. In any event, someone over there suggested getting the latest PowerTOP (v2.3) to see if the bug was fixed. Did you try that?
    – slm
    May 7, 2013 at 14:41

1 Answer 1


Alternative Power Apps

There are several power management apps listed on the Linux App finder site.

     ss of power apps

Of the ones listed I've used GKrellM & PowerTOP. Perhaps one of these will suit your needs.

I did a quick look through most of these apps. I didn't see the feature where power consumption was broken down by device. I believe that feature is unique to PowerTOP! Feel free to look through the list of apps though. Perhaps I missed something.

Compiling latest PowerTOP (v2.3)

There is a newer version of PowerTOP available from the Intel Open Source site.

I'd try downloading that and see if the bug referenced in your question, has been resolved. Looking through the bugzilla ticket it would appear to be the case.

Issues with power consumption calculation in PowerTOP

This particular calculation requires that the current be measured over a period of time. Given this it doesn't show up with any meaningful values for a period of time.

excerpt (from wiki answers)

To calculate the power consumption of an electrical or electronic device you have to multiply the voltage applied to the device times the current consumed. This is a little trickier than it would first appear; the voltage applied is usually 120 volts(117 to 125 but who's counting?) the current consumed is a bit more complicated. To measure this requires an ammeter ( an AC ammeter) and a little time. The current consumption will not be constant, so it must be averaged over time. The longer your time measurement the more accurate your power measurement will be.

  • I finally get the power est. in powertop, someone suggest me to wait for hours before the power est will show. However, this is not written in their doc.
    – Kevin Q
    May 7, 2013 at 15:14
  • I agree, but I think it needs to build up a pool of measurements before it can perform that calculation. I've added some details to my answer that explain why this is the case.
    – slm
    May 7, 2013 at 15:23

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