There seems to be a bit of misinformation spreading about Linux and software suspend not working reliably on Linux. Let me quote:

After running Linux on a variety of different systems, I have to say, it's utterly amazingly refreshing to use something whose software was designed specifically for its hardware. I close it and it goes to sleep. I open it and it wakes up. In almost four years with my previous laptop, I never got power management working well enough that I would trust it.


He's "amazingly refreshed" at finally having working power management, after suffering through years and years of crap. I remember the first little while with my Powerbook, where I'd pray a bit every time I'd close the lid, only to eventually be enlightened: it won't crash on me a few times a day! The uptime on my Powerbook is basically "how long since the last kernel upgrade", like it bloody should be.

Guys! Which dimension have you been living in? Or are you suffering from a reality distorsion field. Software suspend has been working for a long time reliably on Linux, on reliable hardware. Let me summarize:

  • 1999: Pentium 166 based Toshiba Satellite. apm -s works fine with Debian/Linux for i386
  • 1999: PowerBook 3400 with hand installed Debian/Linux for PowerPC (no installer by the time I installed it). Worked fine by closing the lid (or something like that). Much more stable than the MacOS 8.x that came with it.
  • 1999: Compaq Armada 1700: apm -s works fine with Debian/Linux for i386
  • 2000: IBM ThinkPad 600E: closing the lid suspends to RAM. With Debian/Linux for i386
  • 2001: Toshiba Tecra: apm -s works fine. RedHat Linux 6.0
  • 2004: PowerBook G3/400 finally moved to Debian/Linux for PowerPC, then later in late 2004 to Ubuntu. Closing the lid suspends to RAM. Much like it was doing on MacOS X.
  • Dec. 2005: IBM ThinkPad Z60t: suspend works great out of the box with Ubuntu Dapper Flight 2 (2nd pre-release of 06.06 LTS). This machine end up beating the uptime of my server at home because of its universal UPS. Well it was until I upgraded to Edgy... and it is back on a new cycle.

I must admit that sometime things are not completely white. For example Dapper final release kernel, break the resume horribly on my laptop, since 2.6.15-21. Kernel 2.6.15-25 still has the problem, I don't know for -27. -19 works fine, I'm sticking to it. Malone #49078. Edgy kernels are broken a bit worse with 2.6.17: Malone #63967, this is not with other boot-related breakage like the console messup (update: that last one have had a huge improvement) or grub not working properly.

But these are not worse than suspend not working on PC laptop with the Operating System you are forced to purchase that is supposed to be supported by the manufacturer... (and sometime it works way better in Linux) given that most of the time you are never getting this fixed... unlike for Linux. And for MacOS X, it better be working given the very narrow hardware range it supports.

Thanks pcolijn for contributing into rectifying the truth. The dark side is always more attractive and easier, but in the long run will NOT win.

Update: I forgot about that Toshiba Tecra I had from work in 2001.