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Building & Installing PowerTOP
To build and install PowerTOP type the following commands,
./make install
Note: For Android (running Intel Architecture ) there is a
that was provided by community members, and at this time is supported
mostly by community members.
Build dependencies
PowerTOP uses C++, and expects g++ and libstdc++ to be functional
along with a glibc/pthreadsi, autoconf, automake, and libtool in the
development environment.
in addition to that, PowerTOP requires the following components:
pciutils-devel (is only required if you have PCI)
ncurses-devel (required)
libnl-devel (required)
kernel version => 2.6.38
Build PowerTop for Android LollyPop
1. Obtain pciutils and ncurses libraries.
Skip this step if they are already in the tree.
pciutils: Clone
into external/pciutils
ncurses: Clone
into external/ncurses
2. Run
./src/ src/powertop.css src/css.h
to generate the css.h header file.
3. Apply patches inside patches/Android
4. PowerTop can be built with top level make,
or by doing "mm".
The resulting binary is under $ANDROID_PRODUCT_OUT/system/bin/powertop
Kernel Parameters:
PowerTOP needs some kernel config options enabled in order function properly.
As of linux-3.3.0 these are (list probably incomplete):
Use these configs from linux-3.13.rc1
The patches in the patches/ sub-directory are required for PowerTOP to function
Outputting a report
When invoking PowerTOP without arguments, PowerTOP starts in interactive mode.
However, for reporting bugs etc there is a special reporting modes:
For an HTML formatted report simply execute PowerTOP with the following,
powertop --html
which will create a "powertop.html" file which is static and can be sent to
others to help diagnose power issues. Additionally has the feature of showing
the tunables executions within the report as a reference.
Note for the developers: If you make changes on the report format please
make sure that the output can be cleanly validated by the W3C Markup
Validation Service and W3C CSS Validation Service:
For a CSV formatted report, simply execute PowerTOP with the following,
Powertop --csv
which will create a “powertop.csv” file which is static and can be used in
reporting, diagnoses, and analytical data analysis.
Also you can set the number of iterations, and duration of test, in which case
all reports will time stamp for you.
Calibrating & Power Numbers
PowerTOP will, when running on battery, track your power consumption as well
as your activity on the system. Once there are sufficient such measurements,
PowerTOP can start to report power estimates for various activities.
You can help get this estimation more accurate by running a calibration
powertop --calibrate
at least once; this will cycle through various display brightness levels
(including "off") as well as USB device activities and some other workloads.
Code from other open source projects
PowerTOP contains some code from other open source projects; we'd like to
thank the authors of those projects for their work.
Specifically PowerTOP contains code from
Parse Event Library - Copyright 2009, 2010 Red Hat Inc Steven Rosted <>
nl80211 userspace tool - Copyright 2007, 2008 Johannes Berg <>
Extech Power Analyzer / Datalogger support
I use, and our analysis teams use, the Extech Power Analyzer/Datalogger
(model number 380803) quite a lot, and PowerTOP supports using this
device over the serial cable. Just pass the device node on the command line
like this
powertop --extech=/dev/ttyUSB0
(where ttyUSB0 is the devicenode of the serial-to-usb adapter on my system)