System Suspension

A concern that gets pushed to the foreground when running Linux on a laptop is managing suspending to memory or disk. While there may be more robust ways to preserve state across shutdowns, suspension provides a straightforward way to quickly pause and resume work while reducing consumed energy in the interim.

systemd provides built-in commands for this but as part of my most recent installation I’ve opted for lighter weight distinct tools. While I remember having to jump over additional hurdles years ago to get hibernation working (I think at the time there was less kernel support and external solutions such as tux-on-ice were required), on this install most things seemed to be in place (though my initial kernel config is admittedly a bit bloated) and I simply needed to install the packages suggested on the Gentoo wiki page(1). I started with hibernate-script package for the lightweight reasons mentioned above and having used it in the past. suspend seems promising but I didn’t have the information necessary to quickly assess it, though I may revisit it later as I’m speculating that it’s a more modern alternative; neither need to be much more than thin wrappers around messages to the kernel though some legacy cruft could certainly be lurking.

At the moment I have suspension wired up to a key binding, though I’ll shortly replace that with the lid close event.

My laptop at the moment consumes a fair amount of battery while suspended to RAM and therefore I’ll be looking to either prefer and optimize hibernation to disk or adopt the hybrid route. The resume option was configured as a kernel option which can likely move me a small step closer to the optimization route (if I remove grub).

Suspend and hibernate - gentoo wiki [online]. 13 March 2022. Available from: