One surprising thing the Steam Deck has done for mobile Linux is make battery life a first class issue again. As brilliant as the device is, its 15W graphics hardware can easily drain its humble 40Wh battery in less than two hours. While the Steam Deck does include some excellent performance tweaking and analysis overlays, these aren't available in desktop mode. This is where battop can help, and also help any other Linux running on a battery, because it tells you everything you need to know about your batteries. It runs from your terminal, connects directly to the battery management subsystem, and renders everything it can divine from your hardware to a brilliantly functional terminal-based user interface.

The main display is split into six sections spread across two columns on the left and right. The large text-based pane on the left lists your battery's capabilities and consumption details. These include the battery's vendor ID, alongside consumption, voltage, capacity, time to full, time to empty, and the ambient temperature. Above this is a histogram showing the percentage of battery left. On the right are three histograms charting the temperature, voltage draw, and consumption per watt hours of the battery so you can see consumption over time. The minimum and maximum values are dependent on the value fluctuation but are labeled to show their limits, and each chart is annotated with the current value for each. All of this works just like a CPU usage chart and is really useful when you want to see the impact that recent actions may have had on battery performance. As the battop website says, it's the battery equivalent of something like gotop or htop for process and memory management.

Project Website

Unlike Apple hardware, access to Linux battery information is unrestricted and accessible to anyone with battop.

Music visualizer


The Internet is full of videos containing just music with some simple visualization to help provide some feedback while you're listening. They're easy to create and useful if you want to share your music or create an easily accessible playlist, but it's notoriously difficult to create a meaningful visualization. The biggest problem is generating something useful that can be synchronized to the sound. One approach is to render the output from a music player visualizer, such as projectM, which we've previously looked at here. Another approach is to use corrscope, which takes one or more audio files and generates an animated oscilloscope view of those inputs. These show the changing frequencies in the audio, and they can be notoriously difficult to sync to the actual sound.

Corrscope solves the sync problem in exactly the same way a real oscilloscope does, triggering synchronizing points from the upwards or downwards slopes of a waveform. These triggers can be adjusted just as they can on the real hardware too, although the default values worked with everything we tried. The waveforms themselves can be customized by changing the line color, the line width, the background grid, and either virtual or horizontal layout. Most importantly, you can generate waveforms for more than one input and split these into totally separate oscilloscopes. This works well for stereo tracks but works best with chiptune music. This is because each channel can be separated by the composition software and each channel usually consists of simple waveforms. These look excellent when they're pulsing away together in a grid of many mini oscilloscopes. Any changes you make in the GUI can be previewed immediately by clicking on Preview. This fires up FFmpeg, the only dependency, and shows you a low quality version of the eventual output. If you like what you see, this high quality version is rendered at your chosen resolution and can be shared however you prefer.

Project Website

With corrscope, you can construct oscilloscope visualizations of your multi-channel audio files, which are brilliant for video.

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