Get the rated battery life on an Asus UL80V laptop in Ubuntu 10.10

We recently purchased a new computer for my mother. She wanted nothing to do with Windows, and asked if we could install Linux. An Ubuntu 10.10 install went well, but a few things were missing. Namely, the 10hr+ battery life claimed by the manufacturer. I quickly discovered the LCD brightness was set to 100% and both video cards were enabled.

First problem: The brightness adjustment keys didn't work. That issue was easily fixed by following the steps at:

Second problem: The laptop includes two video cards: a slow low power-use Intel and a fast high power-use Nvidia. Only one card is enabled at a time in Windows; normally the Nvidia is disabled to save power. The steps listed on reference steps on To simplify the solution, I'll document the complete set of steps to simply disable the Nvidia card here:

  1. Open a Terminal window and enter the following commands
  2. echo options nouveau modeset=0 | sudo tee -a /etc/modprobe.d/nouveau-kms.conf 
  3. sudo update-initramfs -u
  4. git clone
  5. cd acpi_call
  6. make
  7. sudo insmod acpi_call.ko
  8. ./
  9. sudo cp acpi_call.ko /lib/modules/`uname -r`/kernel/
  10. sudo gedit /etc/modules
  11. Add acpi_call as the last line in the /etc/modules file. Save and close the file.
  12. sudo depmod
  13. sudo modprobe acpi_call
  14. To run on start up, go to: System > Preferences > Startup Applications > Startup Program > Add.
  15. Use anything for the name, such as "Turn off Nvidia Video".
  16. Select as the command.
  17. Click: Add > Close.


Note: The above procedure simply disables the Nvidia card. If you need to switch between the two cards, the process is documented at: I'll update this article in the future if I decide to further modify my mother's system.