working with laptop battery

Tim Chase python.list at
Sun Feb 14 03:23:28 CET 2010

Daniel Dalton wrote:
> On Sat, Feb 13, 2010 at 05:26:02PM -0800, Chris Rebert wrote:
>> It's probably gonna depend on which OS you're running. Which would be...?
> Sorry, forgot to mention this. I'm running debian linux. 

You should be able to read/poll the various files in


for whatever battery information you need.  Each BAT* directory 
contains information about one of the batteries in the system 
(it's possible, albeit rare, to have more than one).  So you 
might have some script that runs every $INTERVAL that looks 
something like

   from glob import glob
   for fname in glob('/proc/acpi/battery/BAT*/*'):
     f = file(fname)
     for line in f:

On my Debian laptop (Gateway Solo 1200, OEM battery circa 2001), 
the contents look something like

tim at rubbish:/proc/acpi/battery/BAT0$ cat alarm
alarm:                   unsupported
tim at rubbish:/proc/acpi/battery/BAT0$ cat info
present:                 yes
design capacity:         4016 mAh
last full capacity:      4011 mAh
battery technology:      rechargeable
design voltage:          9600 mV
design capacity warning: 602 mAh
design capacity low:     401 mAh
capacity granularity 1:  201 mAh
capacity granularity 2:  3409 mAh
model number:            QT08
serial number:           SANYOQT08
battery type:            NiMH
OEM info:                SANYO
tim at rubbish:/proc/acpi/battery/BAT0$ cat state
present:                 yes
capacity state:          ok
charging state:          charged
present rate:            unknown
remaining capacity:      4011 mAh
present voltage:         9600 mV


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