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System Power Management States
The kernel supports four power management states generically, though
one is generic and the other three are dependent on platform support
code to implement the low-level details for each state.
This file describes each state, what they are
commonly called, what ACPI state they map to, and what string to write
to /sys/power/state to enter that state
state: Freeze / Low-Power Idle
ACPI state: S0
String: "freeze"
This state is a generic, pure software, light-weight, low-power state.
It allows more energy to be saved relative to idle by freezing user
space and putting all I/O devices into low-power states (possibly
lower-power than available at run time), such that the processors can
spend more time in their idle states.
This state can be used for platforms without Standby/Suspend-to-RAM
support, or it can be used in addition to Suspend-to-RAM (memory sleep)
to provide reduced resume latency.
State: Standby / Power-On Suspend
ACPI State: S1
String: "standby"
This state offers minimal, though real, power savings, while providing
a very low-latency transition back to a working system. No operating
state is lost (the CPU retains power), so the system easily starts up
again where it left off.
We try to put devices in a low-power state equivalent to D1, which
also offers low power savings, but low resume latency. Not all devices
support D1, and those that don't are left on.
State: Suspend-to-RAM
ACPI State: S3
String: "mem"
This state offers significant power savings as everything in the
system is put into a low-power state, except for memory, which is
placed in self-refresh mode to retain its contents.
System and device state is saved and kept in memory. All devices are
suspended and put into D3. In many cases, all peripheral buses lose
power when entering STR, so devices must be able to handle the
transition back to the On state.
For at least ACPI, STR requires some minimal boot-strapping code to
resume the system from STR. This may be true on other platforms.
State: Suspend-to-disk
ACPI State: S4
String: "disk"
This state offers the greatest power savings, and can be used even in
the absence of low-level platform support for power management. This
state operates similarly to Suspend-to-RAM, but includes a final step
of writing memory contents to disk. On resume, this is read and memory
is restored to its pre-suspend state.
STD can be handled by the firmware or the kernel. If it is handled by
the firmware, it usually requires a dedicated partition that must be
setup via another operating system for it to use. Despite the
inconvenience, this method requires minimal work by the kernel, since
the firmware will also handle restoring memory contents on resume.
For suspend-to-disk, a mechanism called 'swsusp' (Swap Suspend) is used
to write memory contents to free swap space. swsusp has some restrictive
requirements, but should work in most cases. Some, albeit outdated,
documentation can be found in Documentation/power/swsusp.txt.
Alternatively, userspace can do most of the actual suspend to disk work,
see userland-swsusp.txt.
Once memory state is written to disk, the system may either enter a
low-power state (like ACPI S4), or it may simply power down. Powering
down offers greater savings, and allows this mechanism to work on any
system. However, entering a real low-power state allows the user to
trigger wake up events (e.g. pressing a key or opening a laptop lid).