This section explains in detail the possible configurations of the power manager running on a laptop computer. Please note that the configurations are different when the power manager is running on a desktop computer, for example there will be no battery options, etc.
You can open the xfce4-power-manager settings dialog either by running the command xfce4-power-manager -c from your terminal emulator or clicking its Icon in the system tray and choosing the “Power manager settings…“ option.

The Xfce Power Manager dialog has five tabs. The first three; General, System and Display, allow you to set various power-related options. The Security tab manages session locking and Devices displays status and information.


General tab


Here you can specify different results for pressing the specified laptop buttons. Note that not all laptops have dedicated buttons or function key combinations for sleep, suspend or hibernate.

Whether or not your screen is locked when resuming from suspend depends on the Light Locker settings under the Security tab of Power Manager.

If you want to control screen brightness with the laptop function keys, enable the Handle display brightness keys option. When this options is unchecked, the brightness keys are not handled by the Power Manager but directly by the kernel (if supported).

Laptop Lid

You can choose separate options to favor power saving (suspend), security (lock screen) or quick recovery (blank screen), depending on whether you are running on battery or plugged in.


  • Show notifications enables informational popups for events like plugging and unplugging or low battery charge.
  • Show system tray icon adds the Power Manager Plugin to the panel.


On this page you can set power saving and warning options which pertain to the laptop itself.

System tab

System Power Saving

  • System sleep mode: — Specifies the type of power saving mode to enter after a period of inactivity. On some distributions the only option available is Suspend.
  • Put system to sleep when inactive for — Sets the duration of inactivity before the specified sleep mode is entered. The minimum duration you can set with the slider is 15 minutes.

Critical power

  • Critical battery power level: — All batteries behave differently when it comes to discharge behavior. For some, it may take hours to go from 100% to 10% but then just minutes to dishcharge completely from 10%. This setting allows you to configure a higher or lower threshold before taking some kind of action for a low battery level. The range is from 1% to 20%.
  • On critical battery power: — Determines the action to take when the battery reaches the user-configured critical charge threshold.


On this page you can set power saving options which pertain to the laptop's display. As with the System power page, the Display options page allows you to set options independently for “on battery” and “plugged in” conditions.

Display tab

Display power management settings

Check Handle display power management to allow Power Manager to manage the laptop's display.

The three options — Blank after, Put to sleep after and Switch off after — are theoretically in ascending order of power saving potential. However, not all laptop hardware is capable of making a distinction among these three modes and there is no direct indication on a laptop if the display is actually being turned off, suspended or just blanked. You may have to experiment to see which, if any, of these options yields the most power savings.

Power Manager does assume that each of these options will work at the hardware level and so it attempts to prevent an illogical configuration; e.g., a Blank after period greater than a Put to sleep after one. In a setup like the one shown in the screenshot above, if you drag the On battery Put to sleep after slider down to, say, 5 minutes, the Blank after slider will automatically move to one minute less. Likewise, if you try to reduce the Switch off after period to less than the other two, it will move the other two sliders to one minute and two minutes less, respectively.

Brightness reduction

These settings allow you to be more or less agressive with screen brightness reduction depending on whether the laptop is running on battery or plugged in.


This tab has options for controlling whether the session gets locked after suspending (choices found under the General and System tabs) and/or screen blanking (choices under Display tab).

Security tab
The first couple of options under Light Locker deal with screen blanking. The first option is when to Automatically lock the session. Select Never to completely disable locking when the screen is blanked. The other two choices need some explanation. One of the issues introduced by the switch to locking with LightDM is that background processes like audio streams are stopped/paused until you log into your session again. Some users want their music playback to continue while the screen is blank but still want the security of a locked session. If that is your preference, choose When the screensaver is deactivated. That way, the actual locking does not occur when the screen goes blank—it happens when you hit a key or move the mouse to deactivate the screensaver. Music will continue to play the entire time the screen is blank. When you hit a key to unblank the screen, music will pause briefly while you enter your password and then it will resume. If you don't care or actually do want the music to pause during the time the screen is blanked, choose When the screensaver is activated. And if you do choose this latter option, you can postpone the pausing of the music after the screen blanks by setting a time to Delay locking after screensaver for. This setting has no affect if you selected locking When the screensaver is deactivated.

Checking the option to Lock screen when system is going for sleep applies to any of the various modes found under the General and System tabs where you can choose options to suspend the session. When checked, you will need to enter your password any time you resume from a suspended state.


This page displays real-time status in the left pane for the laptop's line power state and the battery condition of supported devices as well as more detailed information for the selected device in the right pane.

Devices tab