01 January 2010 tagged: tutorial linux archlinux  

Suspending and Hibernating on Linux

Note that this post is now outdated, and kept here only for historical reasons.

A simple walkthrough to get hibernate and suspend working on Linux. More a reminder to myself than a walkthrough. Your distro wiki probably has far better instructions for you!

  1. Download and install uswsusp. It’s more than likely that your distro already provides it. (For example, pacman -S uswsusp on arch)

  2. Download and install pm-utils once again, check your repos.

  3. Edit your /etc/suspend.conf file, creating it if neccessary. Add your swap partition to the resume device field. For example, my suspend.conf file looks like this:

     snapshot device = /dev/snapshot
     resume device = /dev/sda2
     #image size = 350000000
     #suspend loglevel = 2
     #compute checksum = y
     compress = y
     #encrypt = y
     #early writeout = y
     #splash = y
     shutdown method = shutdown

    Note how i’ve added a shutdown method and enabled compression.

  4. Now, recreate the initramfs. To do this, edit the /etc/mkinitcpio.conf file and add uresume in the HOOKS list before the filesystem hook. Then, run

     > mkinitcpio -p kernel26
  5. Now we need to let pm-utils know that we’ll be using uswsusp. To do that create /etc/pm/config.d/module so tha it contains the following:

  6. All done! Now use pm-suspend to suspend to RAM, pm-hibernate to suspend to disk and pm-suspend-hybrid to suspend to both, which is useful in case of a low battery. If your laptop is anything like mine, you’ll have to invoke it as follows:

     > sudo pm-hibernate --quirk-dpms-on

You can bind that to a key, etc…


I want to have my laptop to hibernate whenever the battery gets below a certain level. I like to use ACPID. Setting up ACPID is really distro-specific, but since I use Arch, I’ll go through setting up ACPID on Arch. (This is a reminder to self, after all.)

  1. Install acpi, acpid, add acpid to the DAEMONS in /etc/rc.conf

  2. Define an event catch in /etc/acpi/events/ named low_battery_warning that looks like

     action=/etc/acpi/low_battery_warning.sh %e