Linux Ecology-HOWTO

Table of Contents


                1. Objectives

                2. Caveats

                3. About the Document and the Authors

   1. Reduction of Power Consumption

                1.1. Advanced Power Management (APM/ACPI)

                1.2. Power Management Unit - PMU (Apple PowerBook)

                1.3. Turn Monitor off, use Keyboard LEDs

                1.4. Screensavers

                1.5. Virtual Servers: Consolidation and Virtualization

                1.6. Energy Star Label

                1.7. Using Spare CPU Cycles

                1.8. Miscellaneous Power Saving Techniques

   2. Alternative Power Supplies - Sun, Wind, Water

   3. Noise Reduction

                3.1. Fan

                3.2. Harddisk

                3.3. Speakers

   4. Saving Consumables (Paper, Ink, etc.)

                4.1. Printing of Drafts / Multiple Pages on One Sheet of

                4.2. Double Sided Printing

                4.3. Reading From the Monitor Instead From Paper

                4.4. Other Techniques

   5. Ecological Behaviour is Convenient

   6. Recycling of Consumables (Paper, Printer Cartridges, CD, Floppies,

   7. Reduction of Radiation, Electro Magnetic Fields, Heat

   8. Extending the Life Cycle of your Hardware

                8.1. Recycling of Hardware

                8.2. Other Techniques

                8.3. Linux BadRAM Patch

                8.4. Installing Linux on Older Hardware

                8.5. Upgrading and Repairing Computer Hardware and
                Communication Devices

                8.6. Other Operating Systems

   9. Using Linux on non-PC Hardware

                9.1. Using Consumer Electronics Devices

                9.2. Using Embedded Linux Boards

   10. X10 - Home Automation System

   11. Uninterruptible Power Supply - UPS

   12. Games

   13. Ecology Software (Simulation, Data Collection, Statistics, etc.)

                13.1. Ecolab

                13.2. Tierra

                13.3. Linux in Environmental Research

                13.4. SWARM

                13.5. Climate-Dynamics

                13.6. UNCERT

                13.7. EcoTopia

                13.8. Digiqual

   14. Related Projects, Mailing Lists and Newsgroups

   15. Credits

   16. Revision History

   A. Appendix A - Linux with Laptops

                A.1. Ecological Comparisons of Computers

                A.2. Battery

                A.3. PCMCIA Card Services and Advanced Power Management

                A.4. Power Saving Techniques

   B. Appendix B - MP3-Hardware-Decoder at Parallel Port

   C. Appendix C - Bibliography

   D. Appendix D - Recommendations for Buying a New Computer

   E. Appendix E - A New Environmentally Friendly Hardware Design

   F. Appendix F - Computer Related Eco Labels

   G. Appendix G - Other Operating Systems

                G.1. DOS

   H. Appendix H - URLs of Recyclers



     Life is the first gift, love is the second, and understanding is the
                                 [] Marge Piercy

    Though computers can be seen as part of environmental pollution, there
   are also ways to use computers in a more reasonable manner to help
   protect the environment. So I have just started to collect some means to
   do so with Linux.


                                1. Objectives

    Some objectives of the HOWTO:

     *  Reduction in power consumption.

     *  Reduction in consumables like paper and inks.

     *  Reduction in waste by reusing older components or keeping them in
       service longer.

     *  Reduction in toxic waste such as used batteries.

     *  Use of Linux in environmental education and research.


                                  2. Caveats

    Some of the recommendations in this text are discussed controversial,
   for instance: powering down a device, when it's not in use. This may
   save power, but not under all circumstances. Also it may have other
   additional ecological costs, e.g. the life time of the device can be

    I don't have enough technological knowledge to make a decision between
   these alternatives. Also some alternatives might be rated differently by
   different persons. So finally the decision what to choose is up to you.
   Anyway if you have better alternatives please let me know.


                    3. About the Document and the Authors

3.1. Miscellaneous

    If I didn't provide an URL for a program or a package, you may get it
   from [] Debian or as a RPM package, from your
   favorite RPM server, for instance [] rpmfind.

    Some parts are modified chapters from my
   [] Linux-Mobile-Guide and my

    The document is included in the [] LINUX DOCUMENTATION

    The latest version of this document is available at
   [] Computers and Ecology .

    A [] summary
   presentation about this HOWTO has been contributed by Michael Opdenacker
   from [] Free Electrons, which also has made
   many contributions to this document itself.

    Since Wade Hampton provided a great amount of information included into
   this text I consider him as a co-author. Though all responsibility for
   any mistakes is taken by me.

    Please feel free to contact me for comments or questions about the
   HOWTO. I know this material is not finished or perfect, but I hope you
   find it useful anyway.

    Werner Heuser <wehe[AT]>


3.2. Translations

    Jun Morimoto <morimoto at> has written the
   [] translation into

    A translation into Chinese(Big5 code) is proposed by Richie Gan. It is
   part of the [] Chinese Linux Document
   Project. You may contact CLDP coordinator <cwhuang at> to
   reach him.

    Victor Solymossy <victor at> proposed a translation
   into Portuguese.


                  Chapter 1. Reduction of Power Consumption

    There are some means to save power when using a computer which are
   supported by Linux: Advanced Power Management, certain harddisk
   settings, working without monitor and others.


                  1.1. Advanced Power Management (APM/ACPI)

    Putting your GNU/Linux PC in suspend or hibernate mode.


1.1.1. ACPI

    Most modern PCs support the ACPI (Advanced Configuration and Power
   Interface) standard. The [] ACPI4Linux
   project works on implementing full ACPI support in the Linux kernel,
   including fan control, dock/undock detection.

    All ACPI related information (such as processor or board temperature)
   is available through files in /proc/acpi. For example, this makes it
   very easy for desktop environments (or for your own programs) to display
   to temperature information somewhere on your screen.

   ------------------------------------------------------------------------ Hibernate to disk

    Use hibernate to disk and no longer be afraid of switching off your
   system. Booting is much faster than having to wait for services and
   graphics to start up. Actually, most of the time is saved by getting
   back to your work as you left it before suspending your computer (open
   files, terminals, browser windows). There is no need to re-open

    While hibernating is often considered as a power saving solution for
   notebook computers, it should also be used for desktop computers, to
   save AC power. Use it when you go for lunch, when you leave the office
   in the evening or for holidays...

    Hibernating also saves a lot of time when you replace a battery of a
   notebook. Again, hibernate, install a fresh battery, power up and get
   back to your work as you left it off.

    Technical details

     *  Hibernation to disk is implemented by the
       [] Suspend 2 for Linux project. It consists
       of a kernel driver and a user-space program to control the driver.
       Users just need to run the program (usually called hibernate).

     *  It works by copying the whole of used RAM to a swap partition. As a
       consequence, it requires the swap partition to be at least as big as
       the amount of RAM.

     *  Both the patched kernel and the user-space program are very easy to
       install through packages.

          *   Here are [] Fedora Core packages
            for download.

          *   At least in the 6.06 release of (K)Ubuntu, hibernating is
            directly available as an option from the battery icon.

          *   Go to your favorite package source for other distributions


1.1.2. Older hardware with APM Linux Compatibility Check

    From the [] Battery
   Powered Linux Mini-HOWTO " .. for APM to work on any notebook or
   energy-conscious desktop, the system BIOS ROM in the machine must
   support the APM standard. Furthermore, for APM to work with the Linux
   operating system, the system BIOS ROM must support either the 1.0 or 1.1
   version of the APM standard, and it must also support 32-bit protected
   mode connections. A system that supports APM 1.1 is preferred, as it
   provides more features that the device driver and supporting utilities
   can take advantage of." You may get information about the APM version
   with the dmesg command and in the /proc/apm file.

   ------------------------------------------------------------------------ Introduction

    When you first install Linux, you will probably have to recompile the
   kernel. The kernel that came with your distribution probably does not
   have APM enabled.

    APM support consists of two parts: kernel support and user-land

    For kernel support, enable the parameters in the corresponding kernel
   section. AFAIK not all features work with laptops. AFAIK the feature
   CONFIG_APM_POWER_OFF works with most laptops.

    The utilities for userland support may be found at
   [] WorldVisions. APMD is a set
   of programs that control the Advanced Power Management system found in
   most modern laptop computers. If you run a 2.2.x kernel and want to
   experiment, Gabor Kuti <seasons at> has made a kernel
   patch that allows you to hibernate any Linux system to disk, even if
   your computers APM BIOS doesn't support it directly.

   ------------------------------------------------------------------------ Caveats

    If you have another operating system preinstalled or use another
   operating system at the same disk, make sure there is no "hibernation"
   or "suspend" tool installed, which could severely interfere with Linux,
   e.g. it might use disk space which is occupied by Linux or vice versa.

   ------------------------------------------------------------------------ Troubleshooting

    Sometimes X windows and APM don't work smoothly together, the machine
   might even hang. A recommendation from Steve Rader: Some Linux systems
   have their X server hang when doing apm -s. Folks with this affliction
   might want switch to the console virtual terminal then suspend chvt 1;
   apm -s as root, or, more appropriately, sudo chvt 1; sudo apm -s. I have
   these commands in a script, say, my-suspend and then do xapmload
   --click-command my-suspend .

    On some new machines (for instance HP Omnibook 4150 - 366 MHz model)
   when accessing /proc/apm, you may get a kernel fault general protection
   fault: f000. [] Stephen Rothwell
   explains: "This is your APM BIOS attempting to use a real mode segment
   while in protected mode, i.e. it is a bug in your BIOS. .. We have seen
   a few of these recently, except all the others are in the power off code
   in the BIOS wher we can work around it by returning to real mode before
   attempting to power off. Here we cannot do this."


1.1.3. Processor frequency scaling

    cpufreq is a Linux kernel driver to control the CPU frequency. It is
   included in all recent kernels and enabled by default by recent
   distributions. It supports most recent "mobile" processors. Note that
   only such processors support frequency scaling.

    This driver lets user programs control cpu frequency by writing files
   in /sys/devices/system/cpu/cpu<n>/cpufreq/.

    Actually, frequency scaling is usually handled by a governor program,
   according to system or user specific preferences.

    CPUSpeed is the de-facto governor for Linux. It allows to control the
   cpufreq driver according to user defined criteria: CPU load, board
   temperature, battery / plugged in... It is released by default in recent

    CPUspeed is usually configured through the /etc/cpuspeed.conf file
   (Fedora Core 4 example):

   OPTS="-i 2
   -t /proc/acpi/thermal_zone/THM/temperature 70
   -a /proc/acpi/ac_adapter/AC/state
   -p 10 25
   -m 600000 -M 1600000"

    After making changes, you can restart CPUspeed with
   /etc/init.d/cpuspeed restart (Fedora Core example).

    Type /usr/sbin/cpuspeed -h for details and more options.

    You can type cat /proc/cpuinfo to consult the current processor speed.
   That's useful to check that the processor speed is scaled according to
   your settings.


1.1.4. Useful Resources for Power Management

     *  [] hdparm - hdparm is a Linux IDE
       disk utility that lets you set spin-down timeouts and other disk
       parameters. It works also for some SCSI features.

     *  Laptop Mode - A feature implemented in the Linux kernel since the
       2.6.6 version. The idea is to spin up the hard disk only when
       reading uncached data, to delay and group disk writes, in order to
       reduce hard disk power consumption and save battery life. Control
       scripts are shipped by default by recent distributions.

        Laptop Mode may not be activated by default by distributions, as it
       is not recommended for servers and laptops running on AC power,
       because of the risk to loose data in a crash or sudden power off.

     *  [] Dynamic Tick is available since
       kernel 2.6.21 and later. When enabled, this kernel feature allows to
       disable the CPU timer interrupts when all processors are idle. This
       way, idle systems are not woken up every 4 ms (default setting in
       Linux 2.6) just to realize there is nothing to do! This can save a
       little bit of power in notebooks (and CPU cycles in virtual hosting
       servers). Regular timer interrupts are re-enabled when something
       really happens, when a real hardware interrupt is received. In
       kernel configuration, this feature can be selected from the Kernel
       Features section (NO_IDLE_HZ setting). You can verify whether it is
       enabled with cat /boot/config-$(uname -r) | grep CONFIG_NO_HZ.

     *  [] Mobile
       Update Daemon is a drop-in replacement for the standard update
       daemon, mobile-update minimizes disk spin ups and reduces disk
       uptime. It flushes buffers only when other disk activity is present.
       To ensure a consistent file system call sync manually. Otherwise
       files may be lost on power failure. mobile-update does not use APM.
       So it works also on older systems.

     *  The noatime and nodiratime mount options can be used to reduce disk
       writings. In operating systems like Linux which comply with the
       POSIX standard, filesystems are supposed to record the last time
       files are read. With default kernel settings, even if files are read
       from the file cache in RAM, this causes time data to be written to
       disk every 5 seconds. You may use a line like this /dev/hda3 /data
       ext3 defaults,noatime,nodiratime, 1 2 for example in /etc/fstab.

        To avoid this and reduce disk activity, you can add the noatime
       mount option to lines in the /etc/fstab file.

        This option doesn't have any known or significant impact on regular
       programs, except perhaps for backup / archiving software for which
       file access time information is useful.

     *  [] Toshiba Linux
       Utilities - This is a set of Linux utilities for controlling the
       fan, supervisor passwords, and hot key functions of Toshiba Pentium
       notebooks. There is a KDE package Klibreta, too.

     *  [] LCDproc - "LCDproc is a small
       piece of software that will enable your Linux box to display live
       system information on a LCD display. It supports a lot of serial and
       parallel LCDs.

     *  [] Dial Daemon - The Diald
       daemon provides on demand Internet connectivity using the SLIP or
       PPP protocols. Diald can automatically dial in to a remote host when
       needed or bring down dial-up connections that are inactive.

     *  Getting your computer to use the least amount of power can be
       problematic. Intel's [] project provides information on
       reducing power usage, tips, and tricks for Intel-based computers
       running Linux. As a first step, Intel has released PowerTOP, a tool
       that helps you find what software is using the most power. By fixing
       (or closing) these applications or processes, you can immediately
       see the power savings in the tool. You'll also see the estimated
       time left for battery power if you are running a laptop. The Tips &
       Tricks page has fixes for a lot of the issues that are already


1.1.5. Restoring your Work after Shutdown

    Even if you don't use hibernate or suspend and switch off your system
   in a standard way, you still have ways of saving time getting back to
   your work.

    Modern graphical environments (KDE or Gnome) restart the applications
   that were open when you logged out. However, most applications just get
   back to their initial state and you will probably need to open your
   files again.

    For people who do not want to loose the HTML pages they were browsing,
   the []  Mozilla Firefox browser as a nice
   Bookmark All Tabs... command in the Bookmarks menu. This is very
   convenient to restore a set of tabs or just to start your browser with
   all your favorite information sites when you arrive in the morning.
   Firefox v3 can save the current state of the browser and will restore it
   upon powerup.

    So, unless your computer is really computing something, you have less
   excuses for keeping it on!


              1.2. Power Management Unit - PMU (Apple PowerBook)

    PowerBooks don't support the APM specification, but they have a
   separate protocol for their PMU (Power Management Unit). There is a free
   (GPL) daemon called pmud that handles power management; it can monitor
   the battery level, put the machine to sleep, and set different levels of
   power consumption. It was written by Stephan Leemburg <stephan at>, and is available from PPC distribution FTP sites. There is also
   an older utility called snooze available from the same sites that just
   puts the PowerBook to sleep.


                   1.3. Turn Monitor off, use Keyboard LEDs

    There are some tools which allow to get information from your computer
   without using the monitor:

     *  bl : Blink Keyboard LEDs

     *   blinkd : "Blinks keyboard LEDs for an answering machine or fax
       machine. Blinkd is a client/server pair, that lets the keyboard LEDs
       blink, indicating things like the number of incoming voice calls in
       the voice box or incoming faxes in the spool."

     *   mailleds : Shows new mails with the keyboard LEDs, mailleds is a
       quiet, unobtrusive way to signify that you have new mail: a user
       daemon to blink LEDs when there is new mail.

     *   tleds : Blinks keyboard LEDs indicating TX and RX network packets.
       They blink Scroll-Lock LED when a network packet leaves the machine,
       and Num-Lock LED when one is received.

     *  [] ledcontrol: is a
       program that allows you to show different information on the
       normally-unused LEDs on your keyboard. You can configure it to show
       virtually any true/false condition accessible or indicate an
       arbitrary number. The monitoring is by default done by shell scripts
       to allow for maximal configurability.


                              1.4. Screensavers

1.4.1. Screensaver Programs

    Do they only prevent the screen from being burned in or do they save
   power, too?

    Some recommendations from Wade Hampton: Screensavers usually display
   graphics, look for ETI, or perform other tasks. When using your
   screensaver in this manner, you may actually consume MORE power. For
   example a computer using XSETI as a screensaver might get far warmer
   (hence use more power) than when it was being used to edit a document or
   perform a compile.

    Some screen saver programs:

     *  The purpose of xscreensaver is to display pretty pictures on your
       screen when it is not in use, in keeping with the philosophy that
       unattended monitors should always be doing something interesting,
       just like they do in the movies. The benefit that this program has
       over the combination of the xlock and xautolock programs is the ease
       with which new graphics hacks can be installed: you don't need to
       recompile this program to add a new display mode, you just change
       some resource settings. Any program which can be invoked in such a
       way that it draws on the root window of the screen can now be used
       as a screensaver without modification. The programs that are being
       run as screensavers don't need to have any special knowledge about
       what it means to be a screensaver.

     *  LockVC is a console-locking-program combined with a starfield
       screensaver. Executing LOCKVC on a virtual console brings up a
       starfield that starts to rotate around all three axes.


1.4.2. Display Power Control

    To really save power, and if your X server plus monitor supports it,
   use the dpms option of xset (see the manual page for xset). For example,
   to enable the DPMS (Energy Star) features of you X server: xset +dpms

    You may also manually change the mode of your X display:

   xset dpms force standby
   xset dpms force suspend
   xset dpms force off

    Note that suspend and off usually save much more energy than just
   standby, especially in CRT displays.

    According to manufacturers, switching off LCD displays more often
   doesn't reduce their lifetime. As user can easily notice, there is no
   significant penalty either between suspend and off modes in terms of
   switching on time.

    In modern graphical desktop environments (like Gnome and KDE), it is
   easy to configure automatic display switch off after a given inactivity

     *  KDE display power management: configure it in Control Center ->
       Peripherals -> Display -> Power Control.

     *  Gnome display power management: configure it in Desktop ->
       Preferences -> Screensaver -> AdvancedControl Center -> Peripherals
       -> Display -> Power Control.

    AFAIK a CRT consumes on the order of 25 percent more power when
   displaying a plain white screen than displaying a plain black screen.
   So, a screensaver that's mostly black can help save power, even if it
   doesn't actually use DPMS to power down the screen. Of course, one
   that's very bright and colourful, or that keeps the CPU running fast is
   not much help.


            1.5. Virtual Servers: Consolidation and Virtualization

    On enterprise networks, or on the Internet, security constraints may
   require that different services are run on different, isolated servers.
   The problem with this one server per service approach is that most spend
   a lot of idle time waiting for some rare activity bursts.

    Several technologies now make it possible to run several GNU/Linux
   servers inside a real, physical GNU/Linux server. As in physical
   servers, each virtual server is isolated from the others. So, this
   approach retains the benefits of separate servers, but makes it possible
   to share some hardware resources like the CPU and network bandwidth. On
   the other hand, each virtual server enjoys a reserved amount of RAM and
   disk space.

    The benefits of virtual servers are obvious in terms of cost, power
   consumption, optimum use of hardware resources, and consumption of
   computer materials. There is another key advantage for hardware
   maintenance: virtuals servers can very easily and transparently be
   migrated from one physical server to another.

    Virtualization solutions:

     *  [] User Mode Linux - The
       original solution. Allows to run one or several Linux kernel
       executables on a Linux machine (with a standard kernel) as regular

     *  [] Xen - An
       increasingly popular alternative, with very little performance
       overhead. Also allows live server migration to other hardware.
       Requires a patched Linux kernel.

    Virtuals servers all already very popular solutions for website
   hosting, but virtualization still has a very strong potential in
   corporate networks.


                            1.6. Energy Star Label

    Robert Horn <rjh at> wrote: "

    I had a chance to discuss Energy Star with the designers of desktop
   printers. They confirmed that the allowable stand-by power targets
   depend on the device, and they only knew their targets. But they made
   some other interesting comments:

     *  Energy Star ratings lead to significant operational power savings.
       Timer based power savings are the exception. Most savings come from
       designing in power on demand with low leakage drivers. For example,
       using stepper motors with low leakage current instead of high

        This savings is both from individual designs and from the resulting
       demand for low leakage products causing better and cheaper low
       leakage product designs. The old-style (e.g. typewriter) design with
       one motor (always on) and various clutches is no longer the least

     *  Energy Star was good organizational engineering. It never required
       designers to compromise quality or performance, which made it much
       harder to argue against design changes to reduce power consumption
       while idle. Since most of the savings begin the millisecond that
       parts stop moving, these savings are considerable.

     *  The power ratings on PC's are a safety rating, not a usage rating.
       So the 235W and 300W power supplies that commonly found in PCs are
       specifying their safety limits. Actual full power usage is much
       less, typically 20-30 percent of the safe limit. The designers also
       noted that it is actually difficult to measure the power consumption
       of a switching power supply. You need to use specially designed
       power meters. The regular AC meters are designed for motors, and are
       rather inaccurate for switching power supplies.


                         1.7. Using Spare CPU Cycles

    Some Linux applications use idle time in computers to cure diseases,
   study global warming, or any other scientific research. They run as a
   low-priority process (nice 20), so you can work without noticing that
   it's doing its task. Another use is for people who use P2P software and
   leave the PC turned on for long hours unattended, all that time the PC
   can be using the electricity it is consuming for a practical purpose:

     *  [] BOINC

     *  []


                  1.8. Miscellaneous Power Saving Techniques

    Linux halts the CPU in the idle cycle to further reduce power
   consumption. Early reports of OS/2, Win3.1/95, NT, and Linux showed
   Linux to use far less power than DOS-based O/S's that spun in the idle
   loop and consumed power -- this may have changed hence it would need
   research to validate.

    Most Linux-users tend to leave their computer on for years whenever
   possible. However, several modern BIOS's support an unattended powerup,
   and with cron you can even do an unattended shutdown. No need to leave
   the computer on night after night. Other techniques to powerup your
   computer at certain times are: ACPI-Wakeup, NVRAM-wakeup and the settime
   command. Computers can even be power up on request remotely by means of
   Wake-on-LAN using a network connection or Wake-on-Ring using an old
   fashioned serial interface and a modem.

    Beware of animated web pages! Web pages containing Flash, Java, or just
   animated images can consume a lot of CPU. When you leave your computer
   and keep it on, make sure you close all browser pages with animations.
   Otherwise, your PC may be left running at full speed while you are not
   using it.

    To disable animated images in Mozilla Firefox go to [about:config]
   about:config, find image.animation_mode and change its value to none or

    Do not forget to switch off your DSL modem / wireless router / ISP box
   / printers at night or during vacations if you don't use them. These
   devices consume quite a lot (typically 15W).


           Chapter 2. Alternative Power Supplies - Sun, Wind, Water

    See a survey of links at [] Eklektix .


                          Chapter 3. Noise Reduction

    Most of the noise emitted by a computer is produced by the fan, the
   harddisk and the speakers.


                                   3.1. Fan

     *  libsensors0 is a library to read temperature/voltage/fan sensors

     *  [] lm-sensors: "Kernel drivers to read
       temperature/voltage/fan sensors. This is a module for reading the
       temperature/voltage/fan sensors in Linux via the LM78/79 chip and
       possibly sensors on the SMBus (System Management Bus, usually found
       in P6 and P-II systems). The LM80 and a LM78-clone called W83781D
       are also supported."

     *   ACPI, see APM chapter

     *   [] RTSensors can be
       configured by the user as an expert controller: The user can specify
       the max/min speed of the system fans, the maximum affordable
       temperature and so on. The controller tries to reduce fan speed to
       reduce noise while the temperature is in a safe range chosen by the
       user. So fan speed is modified automatically by the control
       algorithm, you don't have to use those mechanic or thermal
       regulators on your fans anymore.


                                3.2. Harddisk

     To avoid unneccessary hard disk noise you may use the same techniques
   as described in the power saving chapter. Hard disks in most laptops are
   the primary source of noise. Modern laptop and notebook hard drives come
   with a so-called "Acoustic Management", just have a look into the manual
   to get an overview about the possible settings.

     The noise of the hard disk can be very disturbing, see man hdparm to
   reduce the spin of the disk.

     Some hard disk manufacturers offer dedicated tools, e.g. Hitachi's
   [] Feature Tool allows
   to change the drive Automatic Acoustic Management settings to the Lowest
   acoustic emanation setting (Quiet Seek Mode), or Maximum performance
   level (Normal Seek Mode).


                                3.3. Speakers

    For the console setterm -blength 0 and for X xset b off turns the bell
   off. See also PCMCIA-HOWTO, and much more details in the
   [] Visible-Bell-mini-Howto by
   Alessandro Rubini.


               Chapter 4. Saving Consumables (Paper, Ink, etc.)

        4.1. Printing of Drafts / Multiple Pages on One Sheet of Paper

    Use psutils package to put more than one page on one sheet of paper.
   This collection of utilities is for manipulating PostScript documents.
   Page selection and rearrangement are supported, including arrangement
   into signatures for booklet printing, and page merging for n-up

    For example, to create a PostScript document with 4 pages per sheet:

    psnup -nup 4 >

    Often HTML pages are not optimised for printing. You may use html2ps, a
   HTML to PostScript converter, to print HTML pages. "This program
   converts HTML directly to PostScript. The HTML code can be retrieved
   from one or more URLs or local files, specified as parameters on the
   command line. A comprehensive level of HTML is supported, including
   inline images, CSS1, and some features of HTML 4.0."

    Or you may use mpage to print 2 up or 4 up (PS documents or ASCII
   text). This may be used to save up to 50 percent or more of your paper.


                          4.2. Double Sided Printing

    One important way to save paper is to print on both sides of the paper.
   Depending on the printer capabilities, this can either be done manually
   (printing odd and even pages in 2 passes), or by instructing the printer
   to use both sides.


4.2.1. Printer control

    If your GNU/Linux distribution is using the CUPS printing system (as
   most do nowadays), you can configure double sided printing through the
   CUPS administration interface. Open the [http://localhost:631]
   http://localhost:631 URL with a browser, type your root password if
   required, and configure any local printier supporting double sided
   printing. This applies by default to all future print jobs.

    Print settings can also be changed on a job by job basis too. In
   particular, KDE and Gnome let applications select and configure printers
   for each print job.

    If you are printing from the command line, you can use the
   [] lpr-wrapper to insert
   printer control instructions to PostScript files at print time. Example:

    lpr-wrapper -od


4.2.2. Manual printing

    If double sided printing is not supported by your printer, you can also
   achieve this by printing odd/even (or right/left) pages separately. Many
   graphical applications like let you do that.

    If you print from the command line, you can also do this with
   [] mpage. From the manual page:


    Print just the selected sheets, specified by number, starting at 1.
   Here last defaults to the end of data, interval to 1. Thus -j1-10
   selects the first 10 sheets, while -j 1%2 prints just the odd- numbered
   sheets and -j 2%2 prints just the even ones.

    You can do double-sided printing, in two passes, as follows. If you use
   3-hole punched paper, put it in the printer such that the holes will
   appear at the top of the page -- on the right as you pull out the
   printer tray, in our Laser writer II NTX. Print the odd-numbered sheets

    -j 1%2 ...

    Note the number of pages it reports. (Only half this many will really
   be printed). When printing finishes, if mpage reported an odd number of
   pages, remove the last one from the stack, since there will be no
   even-numbered sheet to match it. Then arrange the stack of paper for
   printing on the other side. (If it's punched, the holes will now be on
   the left.) On our II NTX, the paper comes out blank-side up; replace it
   in the tray still blank-side up but rotated 180 degrees. For other
   printers, you figure it out. Now print the even- numbered sheets in
   reverse order with

    -r -j 2%2 ...

    Hoping no one else reaches the printer before you do.

     [] Duplex is a set of sh
   scripts that emulates duplex printing (on both sides of the paper) for
   sheet-fed printers that do not support duplex printing in hardware. It
   is intended for use on printers connected to workstations. It can
   operate as a pipe so that applications can use it as a duplex printing
   driver. Its unique feature is its ability to print to print many duplex
   print jobs in one batch, printing the odd sides of all jobs and then the
   even sides in just two passes.


               4.3. Reading From the Monitor Instead From Paper

    Or use less/xless/gless as a viewer instead of printing. You can view
   PostScript documents with gs and view PDF documents with either xpdf or
   acroread (from [] Adobe). Ask yourself, do you
   --really-- need a hardcopy each time you decide to print something out.

    For your own documents, a good idea is to create them in landscape
   mode, making them easier to read without having to scroll up and down.
   Otherwise, readers may find reading from the screen inconvenient and may
   then prefer printing. See PDF editions of the free
   [] Tux Magazine for a nice examples.

    What are the reasons why people don't read from the monitor:

     *  Reading is slower up to 30 percent, see
       [] Jakob Nielsen: In Defense
       of Print. The speed can be improved by better hardware (e.g. TFT
       display, greater screen, though this is against the other below to
       take smaller CRTs) and better display software and fonts (type-1,
       t1lib, truetype, freetype).

     *   Paper seems better organizable and more secure to some people. I
       suppose this can be treated by better software (e.g. Linux) and
       hardware, too.

     Some people use handheld PC (e.g. PalmIII, Newton Message Pad, Psion
   5) to carry around documents to read rather than printing them out. At
   TuxMobil you may get information about
   [] Linux compatibility for handheld
   PCs and PDAs. Or they take eBook readers to read "Electronic Paper". At
   TuxMobil there is a section about [] Linux
   compatibility for eBook readers, too.


                            4.4. Other Techniques

    Another means of saving paper is through the use of comments and
   redline/strikeout markings when exchanging a document with a
   co-worker/colaborator. For example, a draft could be written using
   WordPerfect, then E-MAILed to a co-worker. They could update the draft
   and send it back to you. You can use WordPerfect's redline/strikeout
   features to see the changes. The document need not be printed until it
   is "final" or in "final draft" status.

    Question: Can you use the back side of paper in a laser printer? I have
   not had much luck. You can use the paper that has been in a laser
   printer in an inkjet printer by using the other side.

    You should purchase smaller computers and monitors when possible. This
   will save packaging material translating into less solid waste. For
   example the box for a 15" CRT monitor is 2-3 times the size of the box
   for a 15" LCD monitor. Linux works well with 15" LCD monitors on smaller
   computers like the Netwinder or
   [] E3000 .

    Tough smaller monitors may have another ecological caveat: because it's
   inconvenient to browse to longer documents, people may tend to print the
   documents instead of reading them from the screen.

    Some have expressed the concern that LCD displays may use more toxic
   materials and manufacturing processes than CRT displays, hence their
   usage actually may be worse on the environment. The original information
   above concerned the solid waste issue, which is fairly tangible and
   hence more controllable.

    Does anyone know of studies or additional research to help clarify and
   resolve this issue?

    Recycle your used paper, ink, and packing materials.

    You may use refillable printer cartridges. In Germany the are marked
   with the Blauer Engel label.

    Laser printer cartridges can often be used much more longer if you
   shake them when the message toner low appears at the message panel.

     *  LaTeX documents: Using \usepackage{ccfonts} replaces the usual
       fonts by ones with wider lines and bolder serifes, improving
       readability at low resolutions. They are darker (i.e. use more ink)
       than the CM fonts and not as beautiful, so I would not recommend
       them for normal-size printings.

     *  Size-Reduction: Instead of psnup or other parts of the pstools
       check for enhanced Perl rewritings of psnup.

        It has a lot of options, which allow to set all 4 margins and the
       inner gutter separately. Since reduced documents are not very pretty
       anyway, this can be used to reduce the margin, leaving more place
       for the text. This probably requires some experimenting (trying new
       values over and over, checking the result with ghostview).

        The normally used options are:

          *  -p2 (or -p4 etc., like -2 in the old psnup)

          *  -NIH (don't decorate)

          *  -l10 -r20 -b30 -t40 (add to margins)

          *  -g50 (add to gutter)

        (these values vary depending on the papersize and the margins of
       the original, negative values are allowed).

     *  [] PDFjam is a small collection of
       shell scripts that provide a simple interface to some of the
       functionality of the pdfpages package for pdfLaTeX. At present, the
       utilities available are pdfnup, pdfjoin, and pdf90. PDFjam depends
       on a working installation of (pdf)LaTeX. pdfnup puts multiple
       document pages together on one physical page at a reduced size.
       pdfjoin concatenates multiple PDF documents. pdf90 rotates the pages
       of PDF documents. For Mac OS X, some example applications (droplets)
       are provided for drag-and-drop access to the scripts.

     *  Different ink printers are more or less capable to print on the
       backside of already used paper sheets. That's particularly useful to
       reuse all single sided paper sheets you receive for free every week!
       Try different manufacturers. Older Canon ink printers offer 360 dpi,
       older HP ink printers 300 dpi. The readability of 4 pages/sheet
       using LaTex 10pt lies in between this features.

     *  Non-Linux: If you have to work with MS-Windows you should get the
       original Adobe-PostScript-Driver, instead of using the ones from
       MS-Windows. These drivers offer more than one page per paper sheet.
       AFAIK both psnup programs don't work with Adobe-PS, MS-Windows-PS
       and the PostScript extracted from MS-Windows-PDF files. The
       Computer-Modern-Fonts (without German diacritical characters) are
       available as TTF fonts on the CTAN servers. With these fonts you may
       enhance the aesthetical value of documents and save some paper
       space, too.

     *   Ghostscript has a new output format pswrite, which creates output
       in correct PostScript. This feature can be used to repair broken
       PostScript e.g. from Microsoft drivers, allowing their
       postprocessing with psnup etc.

     *  [] impose+ is a
       set of PostScript utilities. The main program is impose, which is
       used for two-up printing of DSC-compliant PostScript (including that
       from Netscape, dvips, and FrameMaker). It makes an effort to remove
       white space from the printout by probing the original PostScript for
       the bounding box of the printed area. This makes the output much
       more esthetic than does a simplistic layout of non-cropped original

     *   [] hpgs is a printer driver that lets you
       to print on a HP 6xx Series printer using economic mode. It relies
       on the printer driver included in GhostScript to do everything but
       put the printer into economic mode.

     *   Besides command line tools for sophisticated printing there are
       also usefull GUI applications available. KPrinter opens
       automatically when you click on the "Print" icon of any KDE
       application. Choose your print job settings by going through the
       dialog and the click on the "Print" button. kprinter is a very
       versatile tool. Depending on the actual features and power of the
       print subsystem of your com- puter, kprinter translates the former's
       abilities into a nice and easy-to-understand GUI e.g. if your print
       subsystem does not support duplexing, kprinter will not show the

     *   [] gnome-manual-duplex is a
       utility that adds manual duplex to the "Print" menu.

     *   [] ecofont is an open source sans serif font
       with holes added to save printer ink.

     *   If you need to print a lot of Web pages from inside your FireFox
       webbrowser, the [] Nuke
       Anything Enhanced extension will help you to save some ink and
       paper. Once installed, it adds a "Remove this object" option to the
       right-click context menu. Place your mouse over information you
       don't need printed (menu bars, big graphical logos and so on) and
       use "Remove this object" to zap them temporarily. Clean up the page,
       then print just what you need.

    Wade Hampton provided the biggest part of this chapter. Some
   suggestions are from Ralf Muschall.


                Chapter 5. Ecological Behaviour is Convenient

     The psutils may not only save paper, they are also a great tool to
   produce a convenient page design. Imagine a nice bounded manual in A5
   format, against a losely hefted block of A4 sheets.

     Depending on wordlength and paragraphlength a multi-column layout
   sometimes saves paper space (though the likelihood for a word to be
   broken increases, on the other hand the space used by incomplete lines
   at the end of paragraphs decreases). This doesn't save very much paper,
   but may fit 2.1 pages in 2.0, therefore with the use of psnup it may fit
   on one page. Also multicolumn layout is better readable.

     [] psdim is a small utility
   to be used in conjunction with pstops. It looks at the contents of a
   postscript document to determine the size of the printed pages. From
   this, it calculates the optimal placement of the pages for n-up
   printing. It outputs a format string suitable for processing by pstops.

    Thanks to Ralf Muschall for his suggestions.


Chapter 6. Recycling of Consumables (Paper, Printer Cartridges, CD, Floppies,

    All of these consumables are recycleable. I have put a list of URLs
   into appendix H. You may start this process by separating different
   kinds of "waste". There should be included some words on the
   difficulties of recycling (data security, motivation, costs, ...).


       Chapter 7. Reduction of Radiation, Electro Magnetic Fields, Heat

     *  monitors are a source of radiation and electro magnetic fields.
       They may be reduced by lead filters, LCD displays. Some eco labels
       like TCO95 include maximum levels of radiation, etc.

     *  especially larger number of PCs or can heat a room very much
       therefore it might be necessary to cool the room. This ca be reduced
       by using standby (powerdown) techniques.


             Chapter 8. Extending the Life Cycle of your Hardware

                          8.1. Recycling of Hardware

    The commercial computer market is largely driven by vendors seeking to
   sell new hardware and software. There is no commercial marketing benefit
   in promoting reuse.

    Hence Linux doesn't require big hardware, it's very useful if you like
   or need to use old and small hardware.


8.1.1. Supported CPU Families

    Linux runs on Intel-compatible processors (starting from the 386) and
   compatible processors by AMD, Cyrix and others. It also supports a long
   list of 32 and 64 bit processors. The whole list can be found in the
   arch directory in the Linux kernel sources.

    The ARM architecture is a fast AND low-power alternative, used in a
   great number of embedded systems (Linux and others). See the
   []  ARM Linux Project for a wealth of Linux
   resources for ARM.

    Linux is also supported on small, cheap and low power processors with
   no Memory Management Unit (MMU), provided they are 32 bit ones. See the
   [] uClinux project for details.

    Mainstream Linux requires at least a 32 bit processor and doesn't
   support any 16 bit ones and will never do. However, there are separate
   efforts from the [] ELKS project to reuse
   Linux code for the 286 CPU family.

    On platforms supported by Linux, or even on some 16 bit processors, you
   may also use the [] eCos operating system.
   This is another free, POSIX compatible operating system targeting very
   small devices (possibly with real-time requirements).

    If you like, you may use [] Minix,
   one of the predecessors of Linux. Minix supports 8088 to 286 with as
   little as 640K memory.


8.1.2. Linux Applications for Old Computers RULE

    Hardware is only as old as the software it runs.
   [] RULE wants to make modern Free Software
   useable even on 5 or more years old machines, on which current Linux
   distributions won't install or run too slowly.

   ------------------------------------------------------------------------ ISDN Router

    [] ISDN Router allows you to convert old
   hardware into a secure masquerading ISDN router, including caching
   nameserver, IP Port Forwarding, and on-demand channel bundling. The
   system fits onto a single disk, and users can change the configuration
   through a simple menu-based system (on the console or over telnet) and
   store it permanently on the disk.

   ------------------------------------------------------------------------ Linux LiveCD Router

    [] Linux LiveCD Router
   allows you to share and firewall your broadband connection and use WiFi.
   It works with DSL, cable modem, T1, and dial-up connections and supports
   inexpensive hardware such as USB and PCMCIA WiFi and ethernet cards.
   Hardware requirements: One dedicated computer with the following minimum
   specifications: 486 Processor, 16 MBytes of RAM, 2X CDRom reader, floppy
   drive, 1 or 2 ethernet cards. NO hard disk! Optionally a WIFI card.

   ------------------------------------------------------------------------ FreeS/WAN

    [] Linux FreeS/WAN provides IPSEC (IP Security,
   which is both encryption and authentication) kernel extensions and an
   IKE (Internet Key Exchange, keying and encrypted routing daemon) as well
   as various rc scripts and documentation. This lets a bright Linux
   sysadmin build VPN's gateways out of even old 584 and 486 PC Clone
   boxes. The 1.00 version is known to inter-operate with other IPSEC and
   IKE system already deployed by other vendors such as OpenBSD.

   ------------------------------------------------------------------------ Print Server

    A common use for an old computer is running a print server on it.


8.1.3. Small Linux Distributions for Old Computers

     *  [] Damn Small Linux - A full featured
       Live-CD distribution derived from Knoppix, with a very active
       community. It fits within 50 MB and runs fine on a 486 PC with 16 MB
       of RAM. Included software: Firefox, xmms, xpdf, Sylpheed, FluxBox
       WM, Siag, spreadsheet, Ted word processor... Used a lot on USB
       flashdisks too.

     *  [] Basic
       Linux - The lightest distro for old PCs! It just needs 3 MB of RAM
       and 6 MB of disk. Features: X graphics, window manager, clock,
       calculator, text based e-mail reader, browser (links), presentations
       (MagicPoint), network dial-up... Great for using an old PC as an X

     *  [] Puppy Linux Fast and light
       distribution. Works great on 10 year old computers. Actively

     *  [] DeLi Linux - A Linux distribution for
       old computers, from 486 to Pentium MMX 166 or so. It's focused on
       desktop usage. It includes email clients, a graphical Web browser,
       an office package with word processor and spreadsheet, etc. A full
       install, including XFree86 and development tools, needs no more than
       300 MB of harddisk space.

     *  [] Small Linux 2 - A
       distribution which is designed to run on old / low-spec PC computers
       (386 and 2-3 mb of ram). It consists of two floppy discs
       one,containing the kernel and the other the root system. Built upon
       uClibc and Busybox.

     *  [] MEPISLite - Debian based distribution
       targeting PCs that used to run Windows 98 (typically 128 MB of RAM,
       2 GB of disk space and a 500 MHZ CPU).

     *  Using Gentoo on Old Machines

         "Old computers don't have to run old software. Old software does
       not have it's bugs covered and is bad for security.

         Most modern distros will be very sluggish when run on those
       machines; not because they use new software, but because they expect
       to be run on new machines and may automatically install large
       amounts of software. The thrust of
       Gentoo-on-old-hardware is to obtain a light, minimalist system that
       runs what you need it to and no more; unlike many proprietary OSes
       and the "heavier" distros such as Fedora, Gentoo starts very light
       by default."

     *  [] Minix - Not a Linux but a UNIX useful for
       small systems. Minimum requirements: 386 CPU, 8 MB of RAM, 50 MB of
       disk space.

    See Wikipedia for
    a longer list of small Linux distributions.


8.1.4. Dealing with Limited Resources or Tuning the System

    This chapter is taken from my []
   Linux-Mobile-Guide - A Guide for Laptops, PDAs and Mobile Phones.

   ------------------------------------------------------------------------ Related HOWTOs

     *  [] Small-Memory-HOWTO
       Describes how to run Linux on a system with a small amount of

   ------------------------------------------------------------------------ Introduction

    To deal with limited space, memory, CPU speed and battery power, I have
   written this chapter.

   ------------------------------------------------------------------------ Small Space Introduction

    There are different types of techniques to gain more disk space, such
   as sharing of space, freeing unused or redundant space, filesystem
   tuning and compression. Note: some of these techniques use memory
   instead of space. As you will see, there are many small steps necessary
   to free some space.

   ------------------------------------------------------------------------ Techniques

     *  Stripping: Though many distributions come with stripped binaries
       today it is useful to check this. For details see man strip. To find
       every unstripped file you can use the file command or more
       convenient the tool findstrip (find it in the Debian perforate
       package) . Attention: don't strip libraries, sometimes the wrong
       symbols are removed due to a bad programming technique.

        A recommendation from Russell Marks <rus at>:

        These days a lot of people compile with -g, which I find a bit
       annoying (though AFAIK this only loses you disk space, in practice).

        strip has a --strip-debug option which doesn't strip symbols, but
       does still get rid of the debugging stuff. This is almost as good,
       in many cases, and it's ok to use it on libraries. As it happens, I
       recently got SuSE 6.3, so I can give you a live example:

       bash-2.03# cd /lib
       bash-2.03# ls -l
       -rwxr-xr-x   1 root     root      4223971 Nov  6 16:22
       bash-2.03# strip --strip-debug
       bash-2.03# ls -l
       -rwxr-xr-x   1 root     root      1200355 Dec  8 00:13

     *  Sparse files: in the case when files contain blocks with only null
       characters, these blocks can be replaced by lseek command calls,
       saving space. Applications (and not the operating system) are
       responsible for creating or handling such files in a correct way.
       For example, both the tar and cp commands have options for handling
       sparse files in a correct way. See the
       [] this page for more
       details and for a sparse command to create such files. In Debian,
       you can also use the zum command from the perforate package.

     *  Remove Odd Files and Duplicates: Check your system for core files,
       emacs recovery files <#FILE#> vi recovery files <FILE>.swp, RPM
       recovery files <FILE>.rpmorig and patch recovery files. Find
       duplicates, you may try finddup. Choose a system to name your
       backup, temporary and test files, e.g. with a signature at the end.

     *  Clean Temporary Files: , e.g. /tmp, there is even a tool tmpwatch.

     *  Shorten the Log Files: usually the files in /var/log. There are
       some nice helpers for this task around, e.g. savelog .

     *   Remove Files: Remove files which are not "necessary" under all
       circumstances such as man pages, documentation /usr/doc and sources
       e.g. /usr/src .

     *   Unnecessary Libraries: You may use the binstats package to find
       unused libraries (Thanks to Tom Ed White).

     *  Filesystem: Choose a filesystem which treats disk space
       economically e.g. rsfs aka Reiser Filesystem. Tune your filesystem
       e.g. tune2fs. Choose an appropriate partition and block size.

     *  Reduce Kernel Size: Either by using only the necessary kernel
       features and/or making a compressed kernel image bzImage.

     *  Compressed read-write filesystems:

        - There was a project to add compression support to ext2
       filesystems: [] e2compr. This project
       has a very limited usefulness as it is currently inactive and only
       supports very old 2.4 and 2.6 kernel versions. No chance to get a
       working patch on the latest 2.4 and 2.6 releases.

        - Fortunately, a very serious solution exists in the
       [] Reiser4
       filesystem which includes a compression plugin. Using compression is
       even reported to be faster than not using it. Actual results should
       of course vary with the CPU and disk speed, and results might be
       disappointing on old machines.

     *  Compressed read-only filesystems

        - The idea is store parts of the system (typically executables and
       libraries through the /bin, /sbin and /usr directories) in a
       separate, compressed and read-only filesystem. This is great for
       saving space and for protecting the system from extern attacks.
       However, the constraint is that software upgrades can no longer be
       done when the filesystem is mounted. The whole filesystem contents
       must be rebuilt and replaced at once.

        - [] CramFS was the first
       implemented solution, used by many embedded system makers. Though
       still maintained, it is dramatically outperformed by SquashFS.

        - [] SquashFS is the solution
       everyone should use now. Unlike CramFS, it has no limitations on
       filesystem and file size, and it achieves much better compression
       and read speed (up to 5 times!). On slow storage (like USB flash
       drives), replacing ext2 with SquashFS resulting in a 50% reduction
       on system boot time (observed in a Linux demo developped by
       [] Free Electrons).

     *  Partition Sharing: You may share swap-space (see Swap-Space-HOWTO)
       or data partitions between different OS (see mount).

     *  C library: use [] uClibc instead of the default
       [] GNU C library aka glibc. It
       takes approximately 400 KB instead of 1700 (glibc). It used by many
       embedded Linux projects as well as by several tiny Linux
       distributions. It should satisfy most needs, as the whole Debian 3.0
       was ported to it. Caution: if you replace the C library, all
       applications also need to be recompiled with a dedicated gcc

     *  [] Busybox - A toolbox implementing most Unix
       commands. It takes at most 500 KB instead of approximately 10-30 MB
       with GNU implementations! It is used by almost all embedded Linux
       projects and small Linux distros. Most commands are implemented,
       even vi, wget, a dhcp server and client, and even a http server
       sufficient for most needs. Even if some rare command options are not
       implemented, even an experienced Unix user hardly makes the
       difference with GNU commands!

     *  Kernel: If your needs are fitted with an older kernel version, you
       can save some space.

        However, with old kernels, you will miss cool features (such as
       real-time preemption, making your system much more responsive) and
       support for recent peripherals. It is true that the Linux kernel
       accumulated bloat over the years: more features, support for more
       special cases... Now that Linux is taking an increasingly dominant
       place in embedded systems, work is being done to control the kernel
       size. The [] LinuxTiny project
       releases a set of patches to the Linux kernel sources. In the
       Configure Standard Kernel Features for Small Systems kernel
       configuration section, you can unselect features you do not need in
       a simple computer. The minimum compressed size you can achieve for a
       Linux 2.6 kernel for a simple PC is approximately 350 KB. Note that
       more and more LinuxTiny changes are now available in the standard
       Linux kernel (no patching necessary).

        With the latest kernel releases, you may also try the
       []  real-time
       preemption patches from Ingo Molnar. When full preemption is
       enabled, it adds unprecedented responsiveness to the Linux kernel.
       The latency is much reduced, suitable for real real-time systems
       (less than 100 us!). It is definitely worth trying on old systems to
       give them a new youth and improve the user experience!

     *   GUI: Avoid as much Graphical User Interface (GUI) as possible.

     *  Tiny Distributions: There are some distributions available which
       fit from one 3.5" floppy to 10MB disk space and fit for small
       memories, too. See [] Laptop-HOWTO

   ------------------------------------------------------------------------ Harddisk Speed

    Use the tool hdparm to set up better harddisk performance. Though I
   have seen laptop disk enabled with stripping, I can't see a reason to do
   so, because IMHO aka RAID0 stripping needs at least to different disks
   to increase performance.

   ------------------------------------------------------------------------ Small Memory Related HOWTOs

     *  []
       Small-Memory-mini-HOWTO by Todd Burgess

     *   [] 4MB Laptop-HOWTO by Bruce

     *  [] Linux Loadable Kernel
       Module HOWTOby Bryan Henderson.

     *  [] Kerneld-mini-HOWTO by Henrik

   ------------------------------------------------------------------------ Techniques

    Check the memory usage with free and top.

    You may also reduce the kernel size as much as possible by removing any
   feature which is not necessary for your needs and by modularizing the
   kernel as much as possible.

    Also you may shutdown every service or daemon which is not needed, e.g.
   lpd, mountd, nfsd and close some virtual consoles. Please see the
   [] Small-Memory-mini-HOWTO
   for details.

    And of course use swap space, when possible.

    If possible you may use the resources of another machine, for instance
   with X, VNC or even telnet. For more information on Virtual Network
   Computing (VNC), see [] VNC .

   ------------------------------------------------------------------------ Low CPU Speed

     You may want to overdrive the CPU speed but this can damage your
   hardware and I don't have experience with it. For some examples look at
   [] Adorable Toshiba
   Libretto - Overclocking.

   ------------------------------------------------------------------------ Tiny Applications and Distributions

    A small collection yet, but I'm looking for more information.

     *   [] BOA - "Lightweight and High Performance
       WebServer. boa is a single-tasking HTTP server. That means that
       unlike traditional web servers, it does not fork for each incoming
       connection, nor does it fork many copies of itself to handle
       multiple connections. It internally multiplexes all of the ongoing
       HTTP connections, and forks only for CGI programs (which must be
       separate processes). Preliminary tests show boa is capable of
       handling several hundred hits per second on a 100 MHz Pentium."

     *  Low Bandwidth X - Alan Cox in LINUX REDUX February 1998: " ...
       ([] Differential X Protocol Compressor -
       Dxpc) is the alternative most people prefer. These systems act as
       proxy X11 servers and compress datastreams by well over 50 percent
       for normal requests, often reaching a reduction to 25 percent of the
       original bandwidth usage. With dxpc, X windows applications are
       quite usable over a 28.8 modem link or across the Internet."

     *   [] Blackbox - "This is a window
       manager for X. Ixt is similar in many respects to such popular
       packages as Window Maker, Enlightenment, and FVWM2. You might be
       interested in this package if you are tired of window managers that
       are a heavy drain on your system resources, but you still want an
       attractive and modern-looking interface."

     *  screen - Tiny but powerful console manager. John M. Fisk <fiskjm at> in LINUX GAZETTE : "It's a GUI, GUI, GUI, GUI
       world! " - or so the major OS manufacturers would have you belief.
       Truth is, that while this is increasingly the case, there are times
       when the command line interface (CLI) is still a very good choice
       for getting things done. It's fast, generally efficient, and is a
       good choice on memory or CPU constrained machines. And don't forget
       that there are still a lot of very nifty things that can be done at
       the console." "screen is a full-screen window manager that
       multiplexes a physical terminal between several processes, typically
       interactive shells. Each virtual terminal provides the functions of
       the DEC VT100 terminal and, in addition, several control functions
       from the ANSI X3.64 (ISO 6429) and ISO 2022 standards (e.g.,
       insert/delete line and support for multiple character sets). Real
       multiuser support, split screen support, hardstatus emulation
       support, configurable window seperator and hardstatus strings,
       permanent window seperator, many new escapes, logfile timestamps and
       flush timeout, optional builtin telnet, optional Braille support,
       support for history compaction."

     *  [] tinyirc - "A tiny,
       stripped down IRC Client. Doesn't have most of the more advance
       commands in the ircII family of IRC Clients, nor does it have any
       color, but it works, and it's tiny."

     *   [] tinyproxy - "is a lightweight
       HTTP proxy designed to do the job with a minimum of system resource
       use. It's ideal for small networks where a larger HTTP proxy such as
       squid might be overkill or a security risk. This simplicity also
       makes tinyproxy an ideal candidate for customization - it takes very
       little time to read and understand the tinyproxy source, and thus
       you can start adding your own desired features on short order."

    Actually, with the progress of Linux in embedded systems, countless
   lightweight applications now exist. A presentation from Free Electrons
   tries to list the most popular ones.


                            8.2. Other Techniques

    NiCad batteries need to be discharged periodically to prevent the
   memory effect and prolong their lifespan.

    Batteries such as NiCad, Lead Acid, and NiMH contain TOXIC chemicals.
   Techniques should be taken to prolong their lifespan, and when you do
   discard them, they should be recycled, not thrown in the trash.

    One technology to watch is the
   [] Iron battery. Such a
   battery could reduce some of the toxic waste problems associated with
   used batteries, however such a battery is probably a few years away.

    Some remarks about backlights in laptops, monitors (screensavers),
   harddisks (hdparm), etc. have to be written.


                           8.3. Linux BadRAM Patch

     The objective of the [] BadRAM
   Patch is to run the Linux kernel in such a way that it can handle
   defective RAM modules. With defective RAM, I mean RAM which has some
   bits wrong at some (known) addresses. Normally, such RAM is considered
   useless and thrown away; the larger RAMs get, the higher the chances of
   failing addresses. With ever growing RAM sizes, it would therefore be
   pleasant to have an alternative to discarding of defective RAM chips.


                   8.4. Installing Linux on Older Hardware

   Lightweight Linux, Part 1: Hardware is only as old as the software it
   runs: a modern operating system and up-to-date applications return an
   older system to productivity. This article provides best practices and
   step-by-step guidance on how to build a working Linux system on older
   hardware or on modern hardware with limited memory and storage.

     Purging of uneeded Locales: localepurge for Debian/GNU Linux is just a
   simple script to recover disk space wasted for unneeded locale files and
   localized man pages. Depending on your installation, it is possible to
   save some 20, 30, or even more megabytes of disk space usually dedicated
   for locales you'll probably never have any usage for.


   8.5. Upgrading and Repairing Computer Hardware and Communication Devices

     Usually manufacturers declare the warranty to be void if the case was
   opened by people other than their own staff. If you want to try it
   anyway you may find some interesting links about how to
   [] repair, disassemble, upgrade or mod laptops
   or notebooks, [] repair broken PDAs and HandHelds,
   as well as [] repair mobile (cellular)
   phones, [] repair portable audio and video
   players, [] repair, clean and mod a computer
   mouse, [] repair printers, ink and toner
   cartridges, [] repair hard disk drives,
   [] repair and clean computer keyboards and
   [] repair and mod GPS navigation devices and
   [] repair personal computers - PCs.

     BTW: here are some non-computer related links to guides explaining,
   how to [] repair (digital) cameras,
   [] repair cars.


                         8.6. Other Operating Systems

    Courtesy of George White <gwhite at>: Or you can buy
   an older computer (SGI, Sun, NeXT) that comes with unix and is capable
   of running a wide range of open source software. In some cases (SGI
   Indigo2) you can still run current OS versions, in others you may do
   better with an open source OS such as Linux, but in either case you have
   access to lots of good software and tools to write your own. The lower
   power consumption of older computers means you get more reserve time
   from an UPS or can use a small alternative power source if you don't
   have access to "mains" power.


                  Chapter 9. Using Linux on non-PC Hardware

    As mentioned in the previous chapter, Linux can be run on non-PC
   architectures. This is particularly useful for the small applications
   old PCs can be used for. Recent netbooks either ARM-based or MIPS-based
   provide an even smaller power footprint. Check []
   moblin Linux, which is dedicated to such machines.


                   9.1. Using Consumer Electronics Devices

    Linux is increasingly used in Consumer Electronics (CE) devices, in
   particular in network appliances such as Wifi routers, DSL modems,
   Network Attached Storage (NAS) servers, IP cameras and other small

    Thanks to the GNU GPL license, kernel and application source code for
   these devices are freely available. More and more device owners are
   taking advantage of this to develop other uses for these devices. Thanks
   to the progress of Linux in embedded systems, making its own embedded
   system is increasingly easy.

    Using such devices instead of regular PCs yields many advantages: much
   lower power consumption, no noise (no fans), built with much fewer
   materials (small size), and much lower cost (for your purse and for the

     *  [] NSLU2-Linux - A community of people
       running Linux on the Linksys NSLU2 device. This device is originally
       a Network Attached Storage server, featuring a 266 MHz ARM CPU, 8MB
       of flash, 32MB of SDRAM and a rich connectivity: Connectivity: USB
       (for attached storage), Ethernet and a serial port. That's all you
       need in a versatile Linux computer. Many different
       []  cool
       applications are listed by the project.

        The NSLU2 device is still available in the shops on all continents,
       for a very cheap price: approximately 90 EUR or 90 US Dollars. This
       makes this device extremely popular!

     *  [] OpenWRT - A project to run Linux on WiFi
       routers based on the Linksys WRT chipset. A typical configuration
       includes a 125 to 200 MHz ARM CPU, 4 MB of flash, 16 MB of RAM, and
       Ethernet, WiFi, serial port (often) and a USB host port (often).

        Devices based on the Linksys WRT chipset are available for sale on
       all continents, costing between 50 and 100 EUR / US Dollars. They
       are very popular too!

    In a nutshell, do not buy a new PC for small applications. Reuse your
   old computers or buy a consumer device on which you can run Linux!


                       9.2. Using Embedded Linux Boards

    Instead of using a PC, or even instead reusing a consumer device, you
   may also create your own system using dedicated embedded system boards.
   Because of lower volumes, such boards may be a bit more expensive, but
   they can achieve much reduced size and power consumption. Both low and
   higher volumes are available too.

    Here are a few noteworthy examples:

     *  [] Picotux - The smallest Linux computer in
       the world, only slighly larger than a RJ45 connector. Pretty cheap

     *  [] Gumstix - Small, affordable embedded boards
       with the size of a gumstick. Backed by an active community too.

    See this []
   independent list of interesting board suppliers for more details.


                   Chapter 10. X10 - Home Automation System

    "X-10 modules are devices that plug into an electrical outlet and allow
   you to remotely control the power to a lamp or an appliance that is
   plugged into them. There are also X-10 modules that install in place of
   wall switches to control lights, and there's one that can be used to set
   back a thermostat."

    These [] X10 folks make a really cool dongle called
   the Firecracker. These allow for the control of X10 devices via a
   serial-port of your PC. Programs like Bottlerocket and GtkX10 allow
   Linux programs to control X10 devices using the Firecracker device. You
   may be able to get the Firecracker, a remote control, a receiver, and a
   lamp module for as little as $5.95 U.S. (special promotion).

    [] GNU Phantom.Home is a
   computer controlled home automation system. The software includes a
   circuit diagram for building the Phantom.Home.Controller, a simple
   circuit board that attaches to your PC's parallel port. Using the
   combination of hardware/software you can control (i.e. flip on or off)
   nearly any 120V device. And with a little bit of electronics know-how,
   you can probably control nearly any device at any voltage by modifying
   the circuit board to meet your needs. The simple circuit included can be
   created and built for around $25. The modules cost around $10 (basically
   a heavy duty relay).

    More details on this topic are available on the
   []  Linux Home Automation website.

    Turn that light off when not in use!


                Chapter 11. Uninterruptible Power Supply - UPS

    You should use a protection against lightening and power surges or a
   UPS if you have many thunderstorms in the area. That will save hardware,
   software, your time, and money, and help prevent you from throwing out
   that old monitor, CPU, or modem when it gets trashed by lightening. For
   details consult the [] UPS-HOWTO.

    For desktop PCs, in areas prone to lightening or power outages, UPSs
   could save hours of work each week, potentially translating into power
   savings. However, there is some concern over their additional usage of
   AC power. If anyone has any studies or research on this issue, could
   they please forward it to us? That would be an interesting question to
   post to APC, BEST, etc.

    UPSs also contain batteries with a high environmental cost. So, just
   use a UPS when really needed and when benefits outweight environmental
   costs. For example, if you are using a notebook, a much cheaper surge
   protection is enough thanks to your battery.

    People have also reported issues using unreliable power sources, for
   example in trains. Make sure you use a surge protection device then!


                              Chapter 12. Games

    Personally I'm not much a player of computer games but maybe they can
   be used for environmental education. In a first investigation I found
   Lincity and Real Life, please check their usefulness by yourself.

     *  Lincity - Build & maintain a city/country. You are required to
       build and maintain a city. You must feed, house, provide jobs and
       goods for your residents. You can build a sustainable economy with
       the help of renewable energy and recycling, or you can go for broke
       and build rockets to escape from a pollution ridden and resource
       starved planet, it's up to you. Due to the finite resources
       available in any one place, this is not a game that you can leave
       for long periods of time. This game is similar to the commercial
       simulation game with a similar name. This package provides files
       common to both the X and SVGALIB versions of the game.

     *  Real Life - "In
       [] Conway's Game
       of Life every cell is either fully alive (has the value of 1) or
       completely dead (has the value 0). In Real Life this restriction to
       bivalence is lifted to countenance -real-valued- degrees of life and
       death. Real Life contains Conway's Game of Life as a special case;
       however, Real Life, in contrast to Conway's Game of Life, exhibits
       sensitive dependence on initial conditions which is characteristic
       of chaotic systems."

     *  [] Sierra has produced (some time ago) Eco
       Quest 1 - Lost in Rainforest and Eco Quest 2 - The Search for Cetus.
       The EcoQuest games were for MS-DOS and Windows 3.x. These were
       targeted at younger players.

     *  SimEarth, 1988, Maxis (DOS, Win3.x, Mac) Simulates the development
       of a planet from the forming of the crust to the spread of
       civilization. Based on James Lovelock's Gaia theory. Somewhat dull
       and difficult to learn, but there's a good amount of educational
       value to be gotten out of fiddling around with the models,
       particularly greenhouse effect.

     *  Balance of the Planet, 1991, Chris Crawford (DOS, Mac): You take
       the role of a government policy-maker who must try to balance
       industry and ecology. Remarkably complicated and drab (even moreso
       than SimEarth), but certain to be educational and thought-provoking
       if time is spent with the manual. The Mac version can now be
       downloaded for free from []
       Crawford's website.

     *  Global Effect, 1992, Millennium (DOS, Amiga): An early real-time
       strategy game where you must try to conquer your opponent while
       dealing with the ecological ramifications of your weapons and
       industry upon your population. Clunky interface, not a lot of fun
       compared to current Warcraft-type games.

     *  SimIsle, 1995, Maxis (DOS, ???) Develop a tropical island without
       destroying the rainforest ecology. Large learning curve but
       supposedly a lot of fun.

     *  SimPark, 1997, Maxis (Win 95, ???) Sort of a children's version of
       SimIsle, which is simpler and more education-focused.

    I suspect the older games should run just fine on dosemu.


 Chapter 13. Ecology Software (Simulation, Data Collection, Statistics, etc.)

    Though I know there is some MS-Windows based software which is used in
   ecological science (there is even a branch environmental informatic), I
   know only Ecolab available for Linux yet. But I guess Linux software
   (for instance databases or statistics programs) may easily adopted. Also
   it might be possible to use a Linux cluster to solve ecological


                                 13.1. Ecolab

    [] Ecolab is both the name of a software
   package and a research project that is looking at the dynamics of
   evolution. EcoLab is a system that implements an abstract ecology model.
   It is written as a set of Tcl/Tk commands so that the model parameters
   can easily be changed on the fly by means of editing a script. The model
   itself is written in C++.


                                 13.2. Tierra

     [] Tierra by Tom Ray is a tool for studying
   digital evolution and ecology that runs on Linux and other OSes.


                    13.3. Linux in Environmental Research

    Courtesy of Wade Hampton: Linux is ideally suited for use as a research
   tool for environmental experiments. There are small embedded Linux
   solutions that can be used for remote monitoring or telemetry. There are
   VERY small Linux implementations from PC-104 systems to embedded systems
   like the [] uCsimm. Linux even flew on the shuttle
   controlling biological experiments.... Linux has been used for weather
   research on NOAA's Hurricane Hunter aircraft.

    Linux is also an ideal platform for researching ecological and
   environmental information via the Internet using standard WWW-based
   tools like Netscape.

    Linux may even be used to model complex biological and environmental
   processes. [] beowulf clusters have been used to
   run complex simulations of environmental processes, for example
   Earthdome, listed in the []
   Beowulf projects page.


                                 13.4. SWARM

    [] SWARM is a software package for multi-agent
   simulation of complex systems that is being developed by the Swarm
   Development Group (SDG).

    Swarm is intended to be a useful tool for researchers in a variety of
   disciplines, especially artificial life. The basic architecture of Swarm
   is the simulation of collections of concurrently interacting agents:
   with this architecture, we can implement a large variety of agent based
   models. The source code is freely available under GNU Licensing terms.


                            13.5. Climate-Dynamics

   Linux clusters are used in climate modeling, for example in the
   []  University of Bern
   in Switzerland.


                                 13.6. UNCERT

    [] UNCERT is a geostatistical uncertainty
   analysis package applied to groundwater flow and contaminant transport
   modeling. This package was developed for evaluating the inherent
   uncertainty in describing subsurface geology, hydraulic properties, and
   the migration of hazardous contaminants in groundwater flow systems. It
   is well suited for the aforementioned purposes, but is also sufficiently
   general to be usable by researchers in a wide range of disciples.


                                13.7. EcoTopia

    The [] EcoTopia web site uses computer
   simulation to model Santa Cruz, California as an ideal environmental
   community. For Ecotourists and Green Consumers, EcoTopia strives to
   offer the nation a model of integration of technology and environmental
   remediation using computer modeling and image forecasting.


                                13.8. Digiqual

     [] Digiqual is a package to
   manage a quality and environmental control system for a factory. The
   package consists of six modules, but only the first module has been
   released. The modules are Supplier Evaluation, Non Conformity,
   Documentation, Maintenance, and Internal Audit, and Training. All data
   are stored in a PostgreSQL database by the psycopg connector.


          Chapter 14. Related Projects, Mailing Lists and Newsgroups

     *   Though I searched the WWW, I couldn't find neither a dedicated
       newsgroup nor a mailing list yet. Please let me know of such
       projects, otherwise I will create a list a .

     *  [] Repair FAQ .

     *  [] CE Linux Forum is a non profit
       consortium of embedded system makers (such as Sony, Panasonic,
       Philips...) which works to develop the suitability of Linux as an
       operating system for Consumer Electronics (CE) devices.
       []  Its Wiki is
       full of useful resources for embedded system makers to reduce size,
       power consumption, and to increase speed. You may find lots of
       interesting ideas and resources there. Free Electrons has a
       []  overview
       presentation summarizing these ideas and resources.

     *  "The [] Electronic Green Journal,
       published by the University of Idaho Library, is a professional,
       refereed publication devoted to disseminating information concerning
       sources on international environmental topics including: assessment,
       conservation, development, disposal, education, hazards, pollution,
       resources, technology, and treatment. We are academically sponsored;
       our focus, however, is to publish articles, bibliographies, reviews,
       and announcements for the educated generalist as well as the
       specialist. We welcome original contributions from authors on any of
       the above topics." . You may also find a survey about Environmental
       Resources on the World Wide Web there.

     *  BAN is a global network of toxics and development activist
       organizations that share a vision of international environmental
       justice. We seek to prevent all forms of "toxic trade" -- in toxic
       wastes, toxic products and toxic technologies. BAN members will work
       nationally, regionally and globally to accomplish the following
       mission: The [] Basel Action Network (BAN) works
       to prevent the globalization of the toxic chemical crisis. In
       particular, we seek to ensure that the Basel Convention and its ban
       (Decisions II/12 and III/1) on the export of hazardous wastes from
       OECD to non-OECD countries will not be weakened, but rather ratified
       and implemented at the earliest possible date. We also seek to
       ensure that the Basel Convention and other instruments and efforts,
       serve to prevent the trade and growth of the world's most hazardous,
       and often obsolete industries, particularly with respect to
       developing or newly industrializing countries.

     *  [] Silicon Valley Toxics Coalition (SVTC) is a
       diverse grassroots coalition that for almost twenty years has
       engaged in research, advocacy, and organizing associated with
       environmental and human health problems caused by the rapid growth
       of the high-tech electronics industry. Our goal in addressing these
       problems is to advance environmental sustainability and clean
       production in the industry and to improve health, promote justice,
       and ensure democratic decision-making for communities and workers
       affected by the high-tech revolution in Silicon Valley and other
       high-tech areas of the US and the world.

     *  Non-profit [] Free Geek turns old PCs and
       laptops into Linux boxes and gives them to poor people. Any computer
       equipment, working or not, can be donated to Free Geek. They will
       repair and reuse what computers they can. Non-functioning computers
       and scrap will be recycled responsibly.

     *  []
       VuNet "The Linux Foundation has formed a Green Linux initiative to
       focus on reducing the open source operating system's power

     *  Whitepaper:
       Linux: Lean, clean, and green - How GNU/Linux is becoming more
       eco-friendly: "Green IT is one of the hottest of today's technology
       trends, and the GNU/Linux community has risen to the challenge.
       Along with several corporate partners, the GNU/Linux operating
       system provides solutions for dealing with power consumption, carbon
       emissions, and e-waste."

     *  Whitepaper:
       Reduce your Linux memory footprint - A few tweaks can boost
       performance: "In this article, learn how to accurately measure the
       amount of memory your Linux system uses. You also get practical
       advice on reducing your memory requirements using an Ubuntu system
       as an example..."

     *  Whitepaper:
       Reduce Power Consumption Through Smart Activity Monitors: "Advanced
       Configuration and Power Interface (ACPI) and the power configuration
       systems built into moderncomputers provide a wide range of options
       for reducingoverall power consumption. Linux and its associateduser
       space programs have many of the tools necessary tomaster your PC
       power consumption in a variety of contexts."

     *  Whitepaper:
       Reduce Linux power consumption, Part 1: The CPUfreq subsystem "This
       three-part series is your starting point for tuning your system for
       power efficiency. In Part 1, get up to speed on the components and
       concepts you need to fine-tune a Linux-based System x server for
       power efficiency. Learn how to enable the Linux CPUfreq subsystem,
       get instruction on C and P states, and determine which of the five
       in-kernel governors you need to boost power efficiency on your

     *  Whitepaper:
       Three ways to recycle commodity hardware with Linux - Creating Linux
       appliances with spare parts: "Outdated computer hardware may be too
       old to rely on, but it represents a value to your
       organizationwhether in an office or at home. Discover how you can
       realize that value by repurposing older machines with Linux."

       Lightweight Linux, Part 1: Hardware is only as old as the software
       it runs: a modern operating system and up-to-date applications
       return an older system to productivity. This article provides best
       practices and step-by-step guidance on how to build a working Linux
       system on older hardware or on modern hardware with limited memory
       and storage.

     *  Whitepaper:
       "In 2005 the Romanian National Meteorological Administration (NMA)
       received EU funding for its AirAware project. The project's
       objective was to improve the air quality monitoring system currently
       in place and to enhance the system with forecasting capabilities.
       For the management of all the information and the presentation
       thereof, the team at the NMA developed a portal that is entirely
       built on Free/Libre Open Source Software. In the future, the team is
       hoping to open the project to the public."

     *  The German [] PRTR - Pollutant Release and
       Transfer Register provides data about environmental pollution. The
       data are stored with Open Source software and presented with

     *  Whitepaper: []
       Buy IT fair - Leitfaden zur sozial-цkologischen Beschaffung von
       Computern: This German guide gives assistance for local governments
       when buying IT.


                             Chapter 15. Credits

    Thanks to:

     *  Hristo Bojinov <hib at>

     *  Thomas Boutell <boutell at>

     *  Lionel "trollhunter" Bouchpan-Lerust-Juery<trollhunter at>

     *  Ben De Rydt < at>

     *  Manuel Palomo Duarte <manuel.palomo at>

     *  Richie Gan <csardas at>

     *  [] Andreas Gohr <a.gohr at>

     *  Jeandre <jeandre at>

     *  Wade Hampton <wadehamptoniv at>

     *  Malcolm Herbert <Malcolm.Herbert at>

     *  Robert Hoehne <hoehne at>

     *  Robert Horn <rjh at>

     *  Larry Lade <lade at>

     *  Volodymyr M. Lisivka <vlisivka at>

     *  Verena Lorenz-Meyer

     *  [] MІ

     *  Russell Marks <rus at>

     *  Don Marti <dmarti at>

     *  Jun Morimoto <morimoto at>

     *  Hanno Mueller <kontakt at>

     *  Ralf Muschall <rmuschall.fih at>

     *  Martin <Niteskate at>

     *  Michael Opdenacker, for tips and tricks about PDAs and moral
       support [] Free-Electrons

     *  Klaus Peichl <pei at>

     *  Mathieu Peyrega <mathieu.peyrega at>;
       [] IncuB

     *  Daniel Pirone <cocteau at>

     *  Martin Pool <martinp at>

     *  Bernhard Reiter <bernhard at>

     *  Matthias Scheller <mscheller at>

     *  Georg Schwarz <schwarz at>

     *  Victor Solymossy <victor at>

     *  Knut Suebert <ksueber at>

     *  Charlie Triplett <crtfcc at>

     *  Sotiris Vassilopoulos <Sotiris.Vassilopoulos at>

     *  George White <gwhite at>

     *  Yan Wong <yan.wong at>


                         Chapter 16. Revision History

     *  0.1, 18 June 1999, first draft

     *  0.2, 10 September 1999, changed <htmlurl ... > tag to <url ...>,
       another motto, added appendix B about MP3 player, created and added
       eco_com mailing list, added chapter about alternative power
       supplies, added recommendations for buying a new computer, improved
       screensaver section, added UPS chapter, added chapter about hardware
       design, minor changes

     *  0.3, 17 September 1999, added information about Tierra, added
       information about wasting of resources during computer production,
       added some comments about UPS, minor changes

     *  0.4, 05 December 1999, added appendix G about other operating
       systems, added information about CD recycling, added appendix H URLs
       of recyclers, removed link to Linux Games Survey, added links to
       SWARM, UNCERT and Climate-Dynamics, added chapter about Energy Star
       label (courtesy of Robert Horn), minor changes

     *  0.5, 04 January 2000, some additional information about PostScript
       utilities, new chapter Caveats, URL corrections and minor changes

     *  0.6, 01 March 2000, link to Japanese translation added and some
       spell checking (thanks to Jun Morimoto), correction of URLs

     *  0.7, 14 April 2000, new chapter about double sided printing, some
       links added to the Games chapter, Power Management Unit - PMU
       section added, proposition of Chinese translation

     *  0.8, 4 November 2000, some more hints on using small space and
       small memory added, new chapter about Linux applications for old
       hardware, some more hints how to save paper included, proposal of
       Portuguese translation, links updated, new document URL, minor

     *  0.9, 27 February 2003, some links corrected (,, minor changes

     *  0.10, 22 November 2003, conversion to XML, some remarks about the
       ecological comparison between laptops and desktops were added, minor

     *  0.11, 23 March 2004, conversion to XML, some remarks about the
       ecological comparison between laptops and desktops were added, minor

     *  0.12, 27 July 2005, Added a chapter about "Installing Linux on
       Older Hardware", bumped to DocBook 4.2, minor changes.

     *  0.13, 9 February 2006, All URLs have been checked and some minor
       changes were made.

     *  0.14, 12 March 2006, A link to ledcontrol has been added and some
       minor changes were made.

     *  0.15, 11 May 2006, Many updates, hyperlinks to existing resources
       and additions by Michael Opdenacker ([]
       Free Electrons). Most added ideas and resources come from the
       embedded Linux system development community.

     *  0.16, 24 October 2006, Some link and spell checking has been done.

     *  0.17, 30 May 2007, A short description of Intel's LinuxPowerTop
       project has been added to the Powermanagement section, the Nuke
       Anything Enhanced FireFox extension and kprinter are now mentioned
       in the Printer section, some minor enhancements have been done and
       all URLs have been checked.

     *  0.18, 19 June 2007, A new chapter about using spare CPU cycles has
       been added, the Green Linux initiative of the Linux Foundation has
       been mentioned, and the abstract has been made more precise.

     *  0.19, 22 June 2007, Some information about energy-efficient
       products and standards has been added.

     *  0.20, 28 September 2009, All URLs have been checked, and many minor
       enhancements have been made.


                 Appendix A. Appendix A - Linux with Laptops

                   A.1. Ecological Comparisons of Computers

     Scientists of [] ReUse project located at
   the [] Technical University of Berlin recently
   compared the energy consumption of different computer types along the
   life cycle. The production of computers actually needs 535 kWh which is
   10 % less than 4 years ago. Most of the energy will be consumed while
   the computer is used for example at work for 8 hours/day. The energy
   consumption of new computers with 2,5-3 GHz processors is even in the
   stand-bye-mode still 100 Watt, whereas a 1,4 GHz PC needs 80 Watt and a
   4 year old PC only needed 60 Watt. Therefore from the ecological point
   of view it is better to buy an old computer that didn't need the energy
   for a new production and which consumes less electricity while it is
   being used.

     LCD displays need less energy than other monitors. For this reason
   laptops are the most ecological types of the compared computers. They
   need the smallest amount of energy when they are used. And 3 year old
   laptops are better than new ones since their processors need less energy
   than new examples. There is also an article in the German computer
   magazine [] C't 21/ 2003.


                                 A.2. Battery

     Has to be written. See
   Battery-Powered-mini-HOWTO , too.


           A.3. PCMCIA Card Services and Advanced Power Management

     Quoted from the []
   PCMCIA-HOWTO: "Card Services can be compiled with support for APM
   (Advanced Power Management) if you've configured your kernel with APM
   support. ... The PCMCIA modules will automatically be configured for APM
   if a compatible version is detected on your system. Whether or not APM
   is configured, you can use cardctl suspend before suspending your
   laptop, and cardctl resume after resuming, to cleanly shut down and
   restart your PCMCIA cards. This will not work with a modem that is in
   use, because the serial driver isn't able to save and restore the modem
   operating parameters. APM seems to be unstable on some systems. If you
   experience trouble with APM and PCMCIA on your system, try to narrow
   down the problem to one package or the other before reporting a bug.
   Some drivers, notably the PCMCIA SCSI drivers, cannot recover from a
   suspend/resume cycle. When using a PCMCIA SCSI card, always use cardctl
   eject prior to suspending the system."

    You should use the internal modem in a laptop instead of a PCMCIA
   modem, if possible (it may be a WinModem).


                         A.4. Power Saving Techniques

     *  If you don't need infrared support, disable it in the BIOS or
       shutdown the IrDA device driver. There are also some IrDA features
       of the kernel which are useful for saving power. In the
       specifications of my HP OmniBook 800 it is recommended to turn off
       the IR port, if it is not in use, because it may consume up to 10
       percent of the battery time. If necessary, you may also try to
       disable the Fast RRs feature in the IrDA section of the kernel. This
       option will give you much better latencies but will consume more

     *   PCMCIA services consume much power, so shut them down if you don't
       need them.

     *  I'm not sure to which extend the backlight consumes power. WARNING:
       AFAIK this device can only bear a limited number of uptime circles.
       So avoid using screensavers too much.

     *  For some examples to build batteries with increased uptime up to 8
       hours look at [] Adorable Toshiba

     *  For information about APM look at the APM chapter above.

     *   [] A hacked rclock.
       Booker C. Bense has hacked the rclock program to include a simple
       battery power meter on the clock face.

     *   [] KDE provides KAPM, Kbatmon and Kcmlaptop.
       Written by Paul Campbell kcmlaptop is a set of KDE control panels
       that implements laptop computer support functions, it includes a
       dockable battery status monitor for laptops - in short a little icon
       in the KDE status bar that shows how much battery time you have
       left. It also will warn you when power is getting low and allows you
       to configure power saving options. Similar packages you may find at
       the [] GNOME project . See the software maps at
       both sites.

     *   Please see []
       Battery-Powered-mini-HOWTO for more information.

     *   toshiba-fan Turn the fan on a Toshiba Pentium laptop on or off.
       This is a command line utility to turn the fan of a Toshiba laptop
       on or off, or view its current state. It should work on all Toshiba
       Pentium laptops that have fans.


        Appendix B. Appendix B - MP3-Hardware-Decoder at Parallel Port

    In the German computer magazine [] CT issue
   9/1999 p. 200 and 10/1999 p. 260 I found an article about turning an old
   PC (from 286 upward) into a MP3 player, by using a MP3-Hardware-Decoder
   at the parallel port. [] Authors
   Homepage .

    Also mentioned there, is a software by
   [] Klaus Peichl, which doesn't
   need a hardware decoder.

    Though both programs are DOS based, I mention them here. I hadn't time
   to look for an according Linux solution.

    [] Cajun is a program that allows you to
   turn any computer (>75mhz) into a massive audio jukebox for your car or
   home. It uses the [] MatrixOrbital serial
   display and supports the IRman infra-red remote control interface.
   Soundcard output is delivered to your (car or home) stereo for
   amplification. The software supports a hotlist and shuffle mode. It
   includes FM/Video4Linux support, icecast/shoutcast support, CrystalFontz
   serial display support, and choice of mpg123 or xaudio for driving the
   sound card.


                    Appendix C. Appendix C - Bibliography

     *  Ellringmann, H. /Hrsg.): Softwarefuehrer Umweltschutz. Anbieter -
       Produkte - Maerkte; 1999ff.

     *  Koellner, W. / Fichtler, W.: Recycling von Elektro- und
       Elektronikschrott; 1996

     *  Rohwedder, W.J. "Rocky" / Alm, Andy: Using Computers in
       Environmental Education; 1994

     *  Schloegl, M.:Recycling von Elektro- und Elektronikschrott; 1995

     *  Tiltmann, K.O. (Hrsg.): Recyclingpraxis Elektronik; 1994

     *  Andreas Grote: (be): Gruene Rechnung - Das Produkt Computer in der
       Oekobilanz - Report, Oekologie, Rohstoffverbrauch, Energieverbrauch
       und Schadstoff-Emissionen bei Herstellung, Betrieb und Entsorgung,
       EPA, Energy Star, Green-PC (c't 12/1994, Seite 92)
       [] CT .


      Appendix D. Appendix D - Recommendations for Buying a New Computer

    Courtesy of Wade Hampton (modifications by wh): Purchase a low-power
   computer such as a laptop or network computer. These typically don't use
   as much power as desktop systems. For example, someone on the WWW had a
   Corel/Rebel Netwinder powered by solar cells. I find it funny that an
   "Energy Star" desktop still has a 300W power supply and uses far more
   power than a computer like the Netwinder which uses something like 10
   Watts of power, (though this is consistent with the Energy Star goals
   for computer equipment, since they have targeted unused power

    Maybe there should be a new class of computers called "Energy Miser"
   (or similar) that use nearly an order of magnitude less power than
   Energy Star systems?

    To save power for the display, one could purchase a LCD monitor instead
   of a CRT. LCD monitors consume 30-40 Watts of power versus the 100's of
   Watts used by most monitors. The price of an LCD is still 2-3 times that
   of a similar monitor, but as LCDs become more widely used, the price
   will come down.

    Make sure that any new computer purchase includes APM-compliant
   hardware and low-radiation. Use TCO, DPMS or Energy Star compliant

    R Horn <rjh at> wrote: " I personally have found the
   [] Lawrence Berkeley Labs - LBL web site to be the
   best source for information on energy efficient equipment. They go into
   considerable details on how to reduce energy consumption from many kinds
   of equipment, including much more than computers. They also have a good
   collection of links to related sites. The Energy Star program is defined
   by the US Environmental Protection Agency, which has a web site on it.
   So far all of the Energy Star regulations have been defined to reduce
   energy usage without requireing change or restrictions on regular usage.
   There is an amazingly large amount of electricity consumed by idle
   equipment (computers, televisions, microwave ovens,...) and also large
   amounts consumed unnecessarily by equipment that must be continuously
   one (emergency exit signs, traffic lights, ...). Since this energy can
   be saved without asking users to make any compromises on performance, it
   is being targeted first.

    Somewhere on the LBL web site they have the actual power consumption
   figures for various PCs. The 300W power supply is quite misleading.
   Actual power usage varies depending upon what programs you run and
   whether the disks can be powered down. Genuine usage while in operation
   is usually in the 50-75W range. When the system is idle, it drops

    The NetWinder is a nice machine, but does force operational
   compromises. The peak CPU performance is much lower. The operating
   system is not Windows. And there are other limitations. A closer
   comparison is the typical laptop PC. These can generally be operated
   from a modest solar panel because their average power drain is quite
   low. With these you can see the cost vs power consumption tradeoff. They
   achieve the same performance as the desktop units, but the low power
   consumption has doubled or tripled the cost.

    (I personally use a Psion. A decent slow computer that requires only
   200mw of power. It may even run Linux once they deal with some of the
   ROM issues.)

    The big debate in setting the energy star regulations was deciding
   which would have greater overall benefit: small negligible cost
   improvements to almost all equipment sold, or greater improvements at
   much higher cost? Could that cost be invested elsewhere to greater
   benefit? How will the purchasers react to the higher cost? So far the
   consensus has been that improving a large number of machines at
   negligible cost is wiser than improving a smaller number of machines at
   high cost."


   Appendix E. Appendix E - A New Environmentally Friendly Hardware Design

    Courtesy of Wade Hampton and Knut Suebert: New hardware designs that
   plan to use Linux should take advantage of environmentally friendly
   technologies such as low-power CPUs e.g., the ARM from Intel: ,
   environmentally friendly battery design, low-power displays (e.g.,
   non-backlit LCDs), smaller packaging, etc. Linux supports a WIDE variety
   of hardware and technologies. These could be leveraged into powerful,
   flexible, environmentally friendly Linux-based solutions.

    An "Environmental Rating" could be created for new Linux-based hardware
   and even some Linux-based software such as bottlerocket (X10). Devices
   such as the Netwinder or the uCsimm would receive high ratings for their
   size, power consumption, capabilities, etc.

    At [] Telepolis
   (German Computer Magazine) you might find an article about wasted
   resources during computer manufacturing.

    Generally speaking PPC CPUs consume less power than x86 CPUs.


             Appendix F. Appendix F - Computer Related Eco Labels

     * [] ENERGY STAR Australia Home Page

     * []

     * [] SIS Ecolabelling, The Swan, Nordic

     * [] Eco-Label

     * [] Top Runner - Energy
       Conservation Center,Japan / Top Runner Program REVISED EDITION/OCT

     * [] GEEA -Group for Energy Efficient

     * []
       Swiss ordinances on standby power

     * [] Market Transformation Programme -
       Supporting UK Government policy on sustainable products


               Appendix G. Appendix G - Other Operating Systems

                                   G.1. DOS

    To my surprise there are still many tools available to make an old 286
   PC useful. I started a search for 286 at []
   Simtel.Net and found many useful shareware programs. For instance:

     *  [] Full-featured LAN for
       MSDOS computers, 286+req

     *  [] RoseMail, PCBoard
       offline mail, 8086/286 exe's

     *  [] Multitasking/multiuser
       environment for 286-586

    There is even a free DOS around, see []
   The OS Developers Homepage and [] The FreeOS page.


                  Appendix H. Appendix H - URLs of Recyclers

     *  [] REMEDIA - Germany - recycling of data
       storage media (CD, floppy, tape)

     *  [] ALCAD - worldwide - Ni-Cd
       Battery Recycling

     *  [] CD-COLLECT - CD recycling

     *  [] Rechargeable Battery Recycling Corporation
       RBRC is a non-profit, public service organization created to promote
       the recycling of Nickel-Cadmium (Ni-Cd) rechargeable batteries.

     *  The [] European Portable Battery
       Association (EPBA) is the European organisation of companies
       manufacturing, selling or distributing portable batteries. The
       mission of the EPBA is to ensure that the ideal conditions are
       created for responsible development of the portable battery industry
       in Europe. Acting in the common interests of all of its members, the
       EPBA aims to sustain a competitive industry in an increasingly
       complex commercial climate.

     *  [] Battery Council International is a
       not-for-profit organization with the mission of promoting the
       interests of the international lead-acid battery industry. With more
       than 175 members worldwide, the Battery Council International (BCI)
       brings together lead-acid battery manufacturers and recyclers,
       marketers and retailers, suppliers of raw materials and equipment,
       and industry consultants.

    When computer waste processing channels are not available yet in your
   country, or are just not mature enough yet, another idea is too keep
   your computer waste a few more years in your attic or in your cellar
   (provided you have storage space). Better processing channels and
   recycling technologies will become available over the years.

    In some countries like France (and probably in the whole European
   Union), local law makes it mandatory for consumer device shops to accept
   old devices for free when you buy a new one, to ensure suitable
   processing or recycling of waste.

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