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How to add a detailed battery indicator to Ubuntu

For as long as I am able to remember the Battery indicator in Ubuntu has, for me, been just shy of useless.

Whilst it pictorially displays my battery charge it hasn’t been able to provide me with anything more: all I get for enquiring further is a never-changing ‘estimating…’ menu entry.

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Unsure if this was all the indicator was capable of doing I took to Twitter and asked my followers. Turns out that whilst it should tell me a bit more information than it currently many of you also see nothing but the same ‘estimating…’ menu entry.

Thankfully a solution came courtesy of follower jknvv13 – so thanks buddy!

Battery-Status

‘Battery Status’ is a GNOME Panel applet capable of displaying  detailed information about the battery.

When run in traditional GNOME-Applet mode options such as adding time remaining or charger percentage into the icon are available.

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Installing Battery-Status in Ubuntu

Open a fresh Terminal session (applications > accessories > Terminal) and enter the following two lines separately, entering your user password where prompted.

  • sudo add-apt-repository ppa:iaz/battery-status && sudo apt-get update
  • sudo apt-get install battery-status

Once the applet is installed you can then add it to the Gnome panel. Achieve this by right-clicking on the chosen panel, selecting ‘Add to Panel’ followed by ‘ Battery Applet’. Finally press ‘Add’ to place it.

When prompted choose ‘Replace’ or you will have two battery applets running.

You can move it into desired position by right-clicking directly on the applet icon and choosing ‘Move’.

Run Battery-Status as an Indicator Applet in Ubuntu

To run ‘Battery Status’ as an Indicator-applet  in Ubuntu – including in Unity 2D) – you’ll need to deploy the following command in a terminal: -

  • /usr/lib/battery-status/battery-status --indicator

To launch the indicator mode on log-in add it to your ‘Start-up applications’ in ‘System > Preferences > Startup Applications’, entering the command above in the command field.

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