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POWERD(8)              DragonFly System Manager's Manual             POWERD(8)


powerd - simple CPU performance control and battery life monitor


powerd [-cdeftQU] [-b backlight_percentage] [-h highest_freq] [-l lowest_freq] [-p hysteresis] [-r poll_time] [-u trigger_up] [-B minimum_battery_life] [-H lowtemp:hightemp] [-L battery_life_linger] [-P battery_poll_interval] [-T sample_time]


The powerd daemon monitors the CPU load and automatically adjusts the CPU performance up or down accordingly. The powerd also monitors battery life. If the battery life is low (less than or equal to 2% by default), powerd will send audio alert immediately, and shutdown the machine after lingering for a little while (60 seconds by default). The options are as follows: -b backlight_percentage Set backlight to the specified percentage, if AC line is not plugged in. -c Enable mwait C-state hint adjustment, if it is available. -d Debug option. Causes powerd to not go to the background and prints some debug output to stdout. -e Enable Intel Performance and Energy Bias Hint adjustment, if it is available. -f Disable CPU power domain frequency adjustment. CPU power domain frequency adjustment does not reduce CPU power consumption much (if any) on some of the modern Intel CPUs, when the CPU is idle. -h highest_freq If CPU power domain frequency adjustment is enabled, then frequency of CPU power domains will not be set to a value higher than the specified limit (unit: MHz). -l lowest_freq If CPU power domain frequency adjustment is enabled, then frequency of CPU power domains will not be set to a value lower than the specified limit (unit: MHz). NOTE: This option is ignored if powerd is in temperature management. Temperature management will lower the frequency in excess of this value if necessary (but usually doesn't have to). NOTE: If you are using a serial port at 115200 baud, it is recommended you not allow the frequency to drop below 1500 Mhz or you might lose characters. -p hysteresis Percent of the upper limit to subtract as an hysteresis value to scale down to the min performance. The default is 10 (meaning 10%). -r poll_time Polling time in seconds. Default is 1.0. Setting this value lower will poll for load changes faster. For example, a workstation might want to use 0.2 or 0.4. powerd can become unstable if you make this value too small. -t Turbo mode. Disables switching to turbo mode as maximum frequency completely. Switching to turbo mode as maximum frequency is enabled by default, if the CPU supports it. -u trigger_up Per CPU load limit in percent to force maximum performance. The default is 25 (meaning an instantanious load of 0.25 on a single cpu). The load is calculated over 3 polls. It is suggested that this value not be made lower than around 7. -B minimum_battery_life If battery life is less than or equal to the specified value, the machine will start shutting down process. Default is 2 (2% battery life left). -H lowtemp:hightemp If the cpu temperature goes above lowtemp, powerd will begin ramping down the cpu frequency, reaching the lowest possible cpu frequency when the cpu temperature reaches hightemp. The default range is 75:85 (in degrees C), which tends to hold a laptop to ~80C under heavy load. Generally speaking, no machine cpu should be allowed to go above 80C even if the cpu can handle it, it means something is seriously wrong with your cooling system and you are stressing the cpu and mobo if you allow it. The default range starts at 75C. Most desktops with reasonable cooling will not exceed this value so it makes for a good default. Laptops can easily exceed 75C, sometimes reaching into the high 80's or even the 90's due to poor cooling and vendors tweaking their BIOS/fan-controls to the high side to do well in benchmarks. If you want your laptop to last, however, you really don't want it to get that hot. For powerd to be able to stabilize, we recommend that a minimum of a 10C range be used. So, for example, 70:80, or 75:85, and so forth. The user can change this range when starting powerd by adjusting powerd_flags in /etc/rc.conf. This option can cause cpu fans to oscillate, and you may need to adjust the range if the oscillation is annoying to you. The basic reason for this is that small changes to the cpu frequency can have a huge effect on system power consumption, causing the BIOS-controlled fan to react, which in turn also changes the temperature and causes powerd to react. -L battery_life_linger If battery life is less than or equal to the configured value, shutting down the machine will be delayed by the specified value. During the delay, alert message will be logged to the console, and audio alert will be alarmed. If AC line is plugged in during this delay, shutting down process will be cancelled. Default is 60 seconds. -P battery_poll_interval Poll the battery life at the specified interval. If 0 is specified, battery life monitoring will be disabled. Default is 5 seconds. -Q Don't alarm audio alert, if the battery life is low. -T sample_time Total sample interval in seconds. Default is 8.0. This effects how quickly powerd ratchets down the performance and cpus on an idle machine. Longer times will ratchet down more slowly. For example, a workstation might want to use a value of 30.0. -U Don't adjust userland scheduler's usable CPUs.


The powerd utility will exit with a non-zero code if required sysctls are not present. If the system is unable to report temperature, powerd will still run, but will not be able to do any temperature-based frequency management. If a new instance of powerd is run from the command line, it will automatically kill any previous instance running in the background. The system operator does not have to manually kill or signal powerd when restarting it, simply invoke a new copy.


The defaults work well for servers but a workstation user might want to use something like the following in their /etc/rc.conf to ratchet up the machine more quickly in response to spike loads (such as when you are browsing). powerd_enable="YES" powerd_flags="-u 7 -r 0.2 -T 60"


acpi(4), perfbias(4)


The powerd command first appeared in DragonFly 2.7.


I'm shocked I tell you, shocked that there might be bugs in this program! DragonFly 6.1-DEVELOPMENT August 16, 2015 DragonFly 6.1-DEVELOPMENT

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