pm-action - Suspend or Hibernate your computer
pm-suspend [--quirk-*] [--help]
pm-suspend-hybrid [--quirk-*] [--help]
This manual page documents briefly the pm-action, pm-hibernate,
pm-suspend and pm-suspend-hybrid commands. This manual page was
originally written for the Debian(TM) distribution and has been adopted
by the pm-utils project.
These commands can be used to put the machine in a sleep state. The
precise way how this is done can be influenced by installing
executables and configuration snippets. For some options external
programs are needed.
These commands will usually be called by UPower or hald when triggered
to do so by a program in a desktop session such as gnome-power-manager.
Calling them from the command line is also possible, but it is not
guaranteed that all programs in your desktop session keep working as
During suspend most devices are shutdown, and system state is saved
in RAM. The system still requires power in this state. Most modern
systems require 3 to 5 seconds to enter and leave suspend, and most
laptops can stay in suspend mode for 1 to 3 days before exhausting
During hibernate the system is fully powered off, and system state
is saved to disk. The system does not require power, and can stay
in hibernate mode indefinitely. Most modern systems require 15 to
45 seconds to enter and leave hibernate, and entering and leaving
hibernate takes longer when you have more memory.
Hybrid-suspend is the process where the system does everything it
needs to hibernate, but suspends instead of shutting down. This
means that your computer can wake up quicker than for normal
hibernation if you do not run out of power, and you can resume even
if you run out of power. s2both(8) is an hybrid-suspend
On some hardware putting the video card in the suspend state and
recovering from it needs some special quirk handling. With the
--quirk-* options of the pm-suspend and pm-suspend-hybrid commands you
can select which quirks should be used.
If pm-suspend, pm-hibernate, or pm-suspend-hybrid are invoked without
any commandline parameters, they will try to grab the correct quirks
from the internal quirk database.
This option forces the video hardware to turn on the screen during
resume. Most video adapters turn on the screen themselves, but if
you get a blank screen on resume that can be turned back on by
moving the mouse or typing then this option may be useful.
This option forces the video hardware to turn off the screen when
suspending. Most video adapters seem to do this correctly, but some
do not, which wastes lots of power. If your screen is still on
after successfully suspending you may need to use this option.
This option forces Radeon hardware to turn off the display during
suspend and turn it back on during resume. You only need to do this
on some old ThinkPads of the '30 series (T30, X31, R32,... ) with
Radeon video hardware.
This option calls the video BIOS during S3 resume. Unfortunately,
it is not always allowed to call the video BIOS at this point, so
sometimes adding this option can actually break resume on some
This option initializes the video card into a VGA text mode, and
then uses the BIOS to set the video mode. On some systems S3 BIOS
only initializes the video BIOS to text mode, and so both S3 BIOS
and S3 MODE are needed.
This option will attempt to reinitialize the video card when
resuming from suspend, using the same code the system BIOS uses at
boot in order to initialize the video hardware. Not all video cards
need this, and using this option on systems where it is not needed
can cause a system to lock up when resuming.
This option will save and restore the current VESA mode which may
be necessary to avoid X screen corruption. Using this feature on
Intel graphics hardware is probably a bad idea.
This option saves and restores some low level hardware state which
may be invalid after suspend.
This option will try to force the video card into a standard text
mode on resume.
Save the PCI config space for the VGA card.
Save the quirks the video adaptor required by pm-suspend or
pm-suspend-hybrid as an .quirkdb file that is specific to this
system. The file will be saved in
/var/cache/pm-utils/last_known_working.quirkdb. This parameter will
only save the actual quirks that were used to successfully
suspend/resume a system, and will be specific to the exact
configuration of that system, including the video hardware, video
driver, and whether or not kernel modesetting was used. If the
system configuration changes, like after a kernel upgrade, this
file will be overwritten.
The files in this directory are evaluated in C sort order. These
files can be provided by individual packages outside of pm-utils.
If a global configuration variable is set, the value set to will be
appended to the previous value. If any other variable is set, it
will be ignored. The syntax is simply: VAR_NAME=value. See the
CONFIGURATION VARIABLES section for valid variables defined by
pm-utils. External packages can define others, see their respective
documentation for more information.
Programs in these directories (called hooks) are combined and
executed in C sort order before suspend and hibernate with as
argument 'suspend' or 'hibernate'. Afterwards they are called in
reverse order with argument 'resume' and 'thaw' respectively. If
both directories contain a similar named file, the one in
/etc/pm/sleep.d will get preference. It is possible to disable a
hook in the distribution directory by putting a non-executable file
in /etc/pm/sleep.d, or by adding it to the HOOK_BLACKLIST
The log file shows what was done on the last suspend/hibernate and
SLEEP HOOK ORDERING CONVENTION
00 - 49
User and most package supplied hooks. If a hook assumes that all of
the usual services and userspace infrastructure is still running,
it should be here.
50 - 74
Service handling hooks. Hooks that start or stop a service belong
in this range. At or before 50, hooks can assume that all services
are still enabled.
75 - 89
Module and non-core hardware handling. If a hook needs to
load/unload a module, or if it needs to place non-video hardware
that would otherwise break suspend or hibernate into a safe state,
it belongs in this range. At or before 75, hooks can assume all
modules are still loaded.
90 - 99
Reserved for critical suspend hooks.
Configuration variables defined by pm-utils. These can be set in any
file in /etc/pm/config.d/.
The default suspend backend to use. Valid values are:
The built-in kernel suspend/resume support. Use this if nothing
else is supported on your system. The kernel backend is always
used if nothing else is available.
If your system has support for the userspace suspend programs
(s2ram/s2disk/s2both), then use this.
If your system has support for tuxonice/suspend2, use this.
If video should be posted after hibernate, just like after suspend.
You should not normally need to set this.
Space separated list of modules to unload before suspend.
Space separated list of hooks that should be disabled.
Space separated list of command line parameters that should be
added. If special quirks are needed for your system, you can add
Space separated list of command line parameters that should be
ignored. If particular quirks are causing problems for your system,
you can add them here. If you want to remove all parameters use
Default method to power down the system when hibernating. If not
set, the system will use the kernel default as a default value.
Check /sys/power/disk for valid values. The default value will be
surrounded by [square brackets].
If your system clock drifts across a suspend/resume or
hibernate/thaw cycle, you should set this to true. This will cause
pm-utils to synchronize the system clock whenever going through a
sleep/wake cycle at the expense of making suspend/resume take
If you are using kernel suspend/resume and invoke
pm-suspend-hybrid, this environment variable controls how many
seconds the system will wait after going into suspend before waking
back up and hibernating. By default, this is set to 900 seconds (15
Return values less than 128 mean that pm-action failed before trying to
put the system in the requested power saving state. A return value of
128 means that pm-action tried to put the machine in the requested
power state but failed. A return value greater than 128 means pm-action
encountered an error and also failed to enter the requested power
Debugging suspend/resume can be a tricky process, and is covered in
more detail in /usr/share/doc/pm-utils/README.debugging.
The upstream BTS can be found at https://bugs.freedesktop.org/. Select
'pm-utils' as product.
s2ram(8), s2disk(8), s2both(8), pm-is-supported(1), pm-powersave(8),
Tim Dijkstra <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Copyright (C) 2007 Tim Dijkstra
This manual page was originally written for the Debian(TM) system, and
has been adopted by the pm-utils project.
Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document
under the terms of the GNU General Public License, Version 2 or (at
your option) any later version published by the Free Software