Cannot configure processor speed in KDE 4.6

Dotan Cohen dotancohen at
Sun Feb 13 19:36:49 GMT 2011

On Sat, Feb 12, 2011 at 01:03, Duncan <1i5t5.duncan at> wrote:
> For a bit of perspective, according to LWN and other articles I've read,
> gnome3 has a similar power-option related brouhaha going on.  In their
> case, it's deliberately forcing (no exposed GUI option, tho apparently
> it's still a "dig-in-the-registry" option) the laptop-lid-switch to
> activate suspend.  There's a lot of users that don't /want/ it to suspend,
> preferring instead to have it only turn off the screen, or do nothing.  Of
> course I don't/won't have gnome installed precisely for such reasons in
> other areas, but I specifically did setup my laptop to only turn off the
> /screen/ when the lid is closed.  I specifically purchased it in part as a
> music player (smaller netbook, one of the first to have 100+ gig storage,
> which I've always wanted in a music player, the bonus being it's a fully
> functional computer too, the negative being it's rather bigger than most
> mp3 players, if still smaller than most laptops and even later netbooks),
> tho of course I use it for other things too, but for that purpose,
> suspending with lid-close would rather defeat the purpose.  Additionally,
> as many, I like to be able to close the lid and carry it around, then open
> and use without having to resume, even from RAM.

Then disconnect the lid switch. I did that to my laptop within the
first month of owning it, as Fedora at the time had problems with
configuring it properly. On my Dell is was just a
screwdriver-as-a-prybar job to lift the plastic above the keyboard,
and the connector was right there.

> So kde's not the only one with laptop power issues ATM.
> Meanwhile, AFAIK, the CPU frequency thing wasn't just kde.  Apparently,
> that's been decided at the kernel/userspace plumbing level and with upower
> replacing hal, individual frequencies are no longer going to be passed thru
> to the user as choices.  As I read it (I've not upgraded my netbook in
> awhile and my workstation doesn't use this stuff), they still expose the
> governer to the user, powersave (lowest speed), performance (highest),
> ondemand (scales up fast, down a bit slower), conservative (equally fast
> scaling both up and down), but apparently not the individual speeds
> (AFAIK, the userspace governor allows that, I believe it still will, but
> no mainstream tools will pass thru that exposure).

So is there any way to leave it at wide open throttle, i.e. 2.7 GHz?
Because locking it at 1000 MHz is ridiculous, I can barely use this

> The reason given is that there's technical implications, race conditions,
> timing, thermal, in the throttling case little actual power saving at all
> (AFAIK the older throttling choices are being removed from the kernel
> entirely, to be managed automatically for thermal, etc, their original
> intent and they do /not/ save that much power, tho real frequency scaling,
> which /does/ save power, remains, for the newer hardware that has it),
> that the user can't be expected to track, so the emphasis is now on
> automated tools that fuzz the UI details like specific speeds a bit,
> giving the automated tools more flexibility in managing all those
> technical issues.

Great, but until they actually work and don't leave me crippled at
1000 MHz at least let me manually override it. On which KDE component
should I file a bug? Or should I file at my distro (Kubuntu)?

> What may have happened, however, is that kde 4.6 is actually out in front
> of the other changes, particularly if you're not running equally new
> kernels and lower-level user-space, so the choice is removed, but the
> capacity hasn't yet been, so some upgrade installs are getting locked at
> the last set cpu frequencies, until either the rest of the system catches
> up, or until the last set config is removed.

It's a fairly recent kernel:
u✈ganymede:~$ uname -a
Linux ganymede 2.6.35-25-generic-pae #44-Ubuntu SMP Fri Jan 21
19:01:46 UTC 2011 i686 GNU/Linux

And I've removed all the config files, still the problem exists.

> This isn't the first time that's happened with kde, either.  Early 4.5 had
> the same problem for early kde upgraders that didn't keep the rest of
> their system equally updated, but with graphics.  Many users running
> outdated (in comparison to the new kde they were running) xorg, kernel,
> mesa, and graphics drivers, found early 4.5 rather buggy, visually.
> Remember that?

No, I've disabled desktop effects since 4.2. Just buggy with ATI cards
and FOSS drivers.

> The lesson, then, is to try to keep the entire system generally in sync.
> Don't run the newest kde unless you're running the newest kernel and lower
> level userspace, as well.  For users dependent on semi-annual (or slower)
> distribution release cycles, that can mean sticking with the kde they
> ship, since they usually don't update the kernel, xorg, mesa, udev, upower,
> etc, in sync with kde.

I see, thanks.

> The trouble is that kde's still developing rather fast, and for those with
> reasonably updated systems at least, newer kdes /were/ a significantly
> better user experience than older ones.  However, with the maturity of 4.5
> and now 4.6, that's becoming less of an issue than it was, so users
> already at about the 4.5.3 level or higher can more easily wait for their
> distribution refresh, without suffering the still relatively broken kde
> that <~4.5.3 was.

Agreed. KDE 4.4, even, was completely usable.

Dotan Cohen
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