Latest update - battery life drastically worse

I have a Dell Precision 3560 (less than a month old), relatively new to Linux in general and brand new to ZorinOS.
Using ZorinOS 16 Core, I've been getting around 10h of predicted battery life from a full charge (this seems ambitious but generally the battery drains broadly in line with this).

Currently kernel version: 5.11.0-38-generic

I updated last night (sudo apt update && sudo apt upgrade) and am now getting around 2.5h predicted battery life (battery goes down in line with this) - classic n00b move, I've no idea what the specific updates were, but I'm reasonably confident they were ZorinOS rather than any other things installed.

My usage is no different - I'm using the Slimbook Battery app in energy saving mode, with the same programs, services etc... As far as I'm aware I've made no other changes that would result in such drastically poorer battery life (both actual and predictions).

Any help / advice or has anyone else noticed this? I like my good battery life and want it back!

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my battery life works normal with zorin, try installing tlp or auto-cpufreq


slimbook battery is a front-end based on TLP. My battery life was fine until last night when I updated - have you installed any updates from Zorin recently?

yes, i just updated it this morning i feel nothing is changing with my battery

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or you can try this one, what i know is that why linux is bad at battery consumption because the lack of proper drivers


No, honestly - the battery life was great before the updates, I'm not looking for a different tool, I'm looking to see if it's the most recent updates that have broken that.

ooh okay, dont know about that it's fine for me


I am not actively using laptop and never paying much attention for the battery operation time.

I will ask other volunteers who I know using a laptop as their daily driver.
@Storm @StarTreker @Michel
did you notice any difference in battery performance after the latest update?

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I'm assuming that the latest updates were among the ones I installed last night ... I've just done a full re-install from the same LiveUSB image I used initially, the expected battery life is back to the longer, expected battery life (currently at 55% and 4.5h).

I'll keep an eye on what gets updated in future so I can pinpoint what exactly causes the issue if it rears its head.

Did you apply any update after this re-installation?


I installed the SlimbookBattery app, htop and powertop, and the very last of the updates from last night (linux-objects-nvidia-470-5.11.0-40-generic linux-signatures-nvidia-5.11.0-40-generic) which I thought might have killed the battery life.

I'm now at 64%, 4h55m expected battery life.

sudo apt update, then apt list --upgradable gives a number of nvidia packages that are now upgradable, but no Zorin updates.

Wait, you have an discreet GPU? Have you double checked to make sure that your GPU is NOT being proffered? If the Nvidia GPU is constantly utilized, your going to have terrible battery life.

Make sure your set to integrated and not Nvidia

Additionally, check the Nvidia X Server Settings App. Look at your PRIME profiles if its a category on the left, and make sure Nvidia is not selected! If you don't have that category on the left as I don't any longer, then go to power mixer and make sure its set on AUTO like this and not Prefer Performance.

PS: No, your never going to get good battery life running off of the Nvidia GPU. That Nvidia GPU is meant for gaming or production use, and is meant to have the notebook plugged in when in use. If you want great battery life, run off integrated GPU.

Also, using the same CPU frequency extension that I use and has been recommended to you, you can force the computer's CPU to NOT be able to turbo, and keep it at a lower frequency, which also extends battery life.


Yes, the laptop has a discrete GPU. sudo prime-select shows that it's set to intel. Whether that means the GPU is being proffered or not, I don't know.

The NVidia X Server Settings App opens only a window frame, with no content - there are therefore no profiles to view.

I realise that using the NVidia GPU was never going to give good battery life. I had neither used it nor messed around with NVidia settings before (when I was getting estimated ~10h battery life) - I'm looking to work out what not to update on this fresh install that would occasion the 80% cut in estimated battery life I saw for a prolonged period earlier today.

I'll look into the CPU frequency extension recommended - thanks - though I'd imagine it does the same sort of thing as the SlimbookBattery TLP frontend, but with less control (i.e. it has 'limit CPU profile' opens of Maximum, Medium and None, and a CPU scaling governor options of Powersave or Performance).

There are several commands that can show What Recently updated.
You can try

less /var/log/apt/history.log

Once we see what updated, we can try to figure out what to correct. Maybe.
I would suspect a bad download corrupted a file during an update, rather than that the update brought breakage.


Since I've since done a clean install (didn't bother backing up logs etc) that's not an option now open to me.

If the issue recurs, I'll definitely take a look through the apt history (now I know where it is!).

If the issue had been a download corrupting during an update, what's the general procedure for diagnosing and fixing it? Reinstalling the last x number of packages?

Yep, generally.


I'll bear that in mind for the future.

Presumably working out whether a successful update has broken something vs. a corrupted update is at fault is a matter of experience and not something I could easily work out?

I think it is a guess, no matter your experience level.
You try it and see if it works.


Magic, thanks for your help and advice (all).

I'll hold off adding any more posts unless the problem recurs, in which case I'll either post here, or find a more appropriate forum if I can work out what the issue is.



I can vouch for NVIDIA Gpu taking whatever it can...I get a couple of hours battery life on this Workhorse of mine . But, I don't travel with this (got a Chromebook 10.4 inch screen for that) it's used for my songwriting and band work. Why I still dual boot till I get it down.

Sorry not trying to stray from subject. But it stays on a desktop or table in the den. So as @FrenchPress stated I pay little attention to battery life... I'm looking for performance so I use NVIDIA no matter

As @StarTreker stated the cool thing is as easy (or should be ) to fix via his walk.