Wrong battery estimate in Fedora on Lenovo ThinkPad 430s

I had a power mangement issue when running Fedora 19 (and later 20) on my Lenovo ThinkPad 430s. When the battery was low - the laptop just powered off itself, without a clean shutdown or even warning me. As you may guess - this wasn’t something I very happy about.


I discovered that it happens when the battery is still at 15%. The system reported at that time still about 40 min of available time.

By default Fedora uses the time based policy for battery power management. In almost all cases this is a good choice, but this time it won’t fly.


Instead of fixing the issue properly (finding the source of wrong estimate or wrong battery reading) I found a workaround which works very well and does not involve any magic: I disabled the time based and switched to percentage based policy.

gsettings set org.gnome.settings-daemon.plugins.power use-time-for-policy false

The other thing we need to do is to adjust when the warning will apear and what type of action should be executed when the battery level is critical.

gsettings set org.gnome.settings-daemon.plugins.power percentage-critical 25
gsettings set org.gnome.settings-daemon.plugins.power percentage-low 30

gsettings set org.gnome.settings-daemon.plugins.power percentage-action 20
gsettings set org.gnome.settings-daemon.plugins.power critical-battery-action 'suspend'

The system will warn me when the battery level is at 30%, another warning will apear at 25% and the action will be executed at 20% of battery level. What action? I choose supend because in almost all cases I have apower plug somewhere nearby, so I just need to plug in and I can work again almost immediately.

You can check the values for all power management settings by using this command:

gsettings list-recursively org.gnome.settings-daemon.plugins.power

If you prefer graphical tools — you can use dconf-editor to edit these values. The gui additionally shows a description for each key and what values are available to set.

Update 30.07.2014

The real reason for this issue was a bad firmware in the battery. Lenovo released a battery upgrade utility, but…​ only for Windows. For Linux users the only way is to replace the battery or ask a friend with Windows to do the upgrade for you. I choose the 2nd option :) On the support page page you can find a list of affected batteries.

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