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Investigate power management options for DICE desktops

Project ID: 
Current stage: 

Description: This project will investigate what power management techniques we could apply to DICE desktops to reduce the school's energy consumption.

Deliverables: The project will deliver a report which discusses various ways of reducing the power used by DICE desktops. For each potentially power-saving technique the report will examine issues such as the possible and likely savings, the impact on usability and reliability, and the ease of implementation on and compatibility with our current DICE setup.


Customer: The School of Informatics, although other LCFG-using and Linux-using Schools in the University may also derive benefit.

Case statement: Reducing energy consumption has become one of the University's key goals, and IS has successfully rolled out a power management programme on centrally managed Windows PCs. After the move to the Forum any reductions in energy consumption will mean direct financial savings for the School. We currently leave our desktops permanently running. Historically this has been to allow for system updates etc, but more recently desktops have been added to a condor pool to provide additional compute resources. In addition, some staff have voiced disquiet at the noise and heat emitted by their DICE desktop machines when busy, and have asked for sleep and/or power-saving modes to be made available. It is hoped that any effective solutions identified by the project may also be suitable for use by other Linux-using or LCFG-using sectors of the University.


Status: Report now available.

Timescales: We envisage starting the investigation in November 2007 and delivering a report in early 2008.

Priority: The MPU has assessed this as being one of the highest priority projects on its list.

Time: A few months.




  • A young DICE machine (e.g. Dell 745) with the usual peripherals.
  • A power measurement meter.


  1. Research power management, particularly with regard to Linux.
  2. List power management methods that might be applied.
  3. Test and research each method for power savings, ease of implementation, possible implications for DICE and for users.
  4. Prioritise and make recommendations.

Dependencies: None.




Proposed date Achieved date Name Description
2008-03-31 2008-02-27 kernel Investigate power savings from kernel improvements
2008-03-31 2008-02-27 suspend Investigate suspend and hibernate mechanisms
2008-03-31 2008-02-27 wake-up Investigate automated wake-up from suspend/hibernate
2008-03-31 2008-02-27 resume Investigate resume problems e.g. amd crash
2008-03-31 2008-02-27 report Write report and make recommendations