It doesn’t matter what sort of portable device you use, from laptop, to tablet, to phone: you know how crucial it is to monitor battery life.

Ubuntu ships with a battery applet, Indicator-Power, that is visible in the system tray area. It gives you a simple, easy way to gauge your current battery level, check charge information, and so on.

But it doesn’t, by design, offer notification alerts for anything other than battery low and battery critically low.

If you’d like to see notifications about battery status events, like ‘now charging’ or ‘battery not present’, you’ll need to turn to third-party apps.

Battery Monitor

Discharging notice
Discharging notice

Battery Monitor‘ is a small Python tool that does what it says: monitor battery life.

It’s not an indicator applet and doesn’t add any icons or cruft to your system tray area.

Instead, Battery Monitor runs in the background and will notify you of battery events using Ubuntu’s native desktop notification system, Notify-OSD and, depending on alert, sound.

So, for example, when your laptop battery drops below 10 percent you will see a ‘critical low battery’ notification bubble as before but also hear an alert tone.

When you unplug your charging cable you’ll see a ‘Discharging’ notice. When you plug in your charging cable you’ll see a “Charging” notification, and so on.

And when your battery hits 100% charge you’ll get a battery full notification, too.

Does this improve anything over the default behavior of Ubuntu?

That depends on what you’re seeking. I want to see battery status events. Using this app I can, automatically, get notifications so that I know I have actually switched the power on at the socket, or that the cat has pulled the charging cable out, and so on.

So for my needs it’s ideal.

Install Battery Monitor on Ubuntu

Battery Monitor is free, open-source software. It is available to install on Ubuntu 14.04 LTS and above. You will find an Ubuntu installer on the project’s release page.

Download Battery Monitor for Ubuntu 14.04 +

Note that the app automatically adds itself to your startup items to run on login. After installing you will need to manually launch it or logout and back in for it to start. It also requires the following dependencies:

sudo apt install python3 python3-gi libnotify-dev acpi

Keep in mind that this tool is only a few days old, and do be a helpful so-and-so and report any bugs you encounter on the GitHub project page.

Apps
#battery