read

I use a Logitech Performance MX wireless mouse, on Ubuntu 18.10 (Cosmic Cuttlefish), with Gnome 3.30.2. This mouse uses regular 1.2V AA NiMH rechargeable battery, which usually last 3 months on a single charge.

The problem is that Ubuntu's power system tries to detect how much voltage is left, and either the voltage sensors or the calculation algorithm is completely broken, so it starts to show notifications 6-8 weeks before it really stops working.

The worse part is that these notifications won't fade away after a few seconds like you'd expect. And to make it even more infuriating, they show up after a every period of brief inactivity, which means you'll get dozens of notifications per day -- and will need to click on every one of them.

I don't really need to be spammed with alerts of low battery for two months before it runs out. Plus, when it runs out, you just need to connect the USB cable. It's not like a printer, that you need to buy ink days in advance.

It seems I'm not alone: tons of users have reported the same problem for years (1, 2, 3).

It seems that upower developers recognize that the battery % should be ignored, but they still decided to emit warnings on low battery, and Gnome Settings Daemon doesn't offer any granular way to selectively disable or control these notifications:

$ upower --dump
Device: /org/freedesktop/UPower/devices/mouse_hidpp_battery_12  
  native-path:          hidpp_battery_12
  model:                Performance MX
  serial:               104a-8a-10-ee-9b
  power supply:         no
  updated:              Sun Jun  2 18:09:54 2019 (15 seconds ago)
  has history:          yes
  has statistics:       yes
  mouse
    present:             yes
    rechargeable:        yes
    state:               discharging
    warning-level:       none
    battery-level:       critical
    percentage:          5% (should be ignored) ◀◀◀
    icon-name:          'battery-caution-symbolic'

Most of the workarounds I found involve patching gnome-settings-daemon (which I've done before, but for different reasons), or disabling power notifications entirely. I dislike both solutions, and wanted to selectively disable only mice battery notifications, without touching anything else.

Thanks to a tip by @daFritz84, I decided to patch upowerd directly (although I used a different method than Stefan). The good news is that upower has dependencies, so it's pretty straightforward to compile and patch your system.

Here's the patch to be applied over up-device.c:

--- up-device.c    2019-06-15 00:18:57.607554731 -0400
+++ up-device-silent.c    2019-06-15 00:19:03.207705276 -0400
@@ -63,6 +63,15 @@
     UpDeviceLevel warning_level, battery_level;
     UpExportedDevice *skeleton = UP_EXPORTED_DEVICE (device);

+    /* Disable warning notifications for wireless mice with rechargeable batteries */
+    int type = up_exported_device_get_type_ (skeleton);
+    int state = up_exported_device_get_state(skeleton);
+    if (type == UP_DEVICE_KIND_MOUSE && state == UP_DEVICE_STATE_DISCHARGING) {
+        warning_level = UP_DEVICE_LEVEL_NONE;
+        up_exported_device_set_warning_level (skeleton, warning_level);
+        return;
+    }
+
     /* Not finished setting up the object? */
     if (device->priv->daemon == NULL)
         return;

Here's the step-by-step (disclaimer: provided as is; you are responsible for checking the accuracy of the code):

# Check which version you're using
upower --version

# Download and patch upowerd
#
git clone https://gitlab.freedesktop.org/upower/upower  
cd upower/src  
wget https://gist.githubusercontent.com/guiambros/f2bf07f1cc085f8f0b0a9e04c0a767b4/raw/ef90dfcfa2489bab577bd984a6082abacdf8b0b1/up-device.patch  
patch < up-device.patch  
cd ..  
./autogen.sh
./configure
make

# Install upowerd
#
pushd .  
cd src/.libs  
strip upowerd  
sudo chown root.root upowerd  
sudo mv upowerd /usr/lib/upower/upowerd-silent  
cd /usr/lib/upower  
sudo mv upowerd upowerd-original  
sudo ln -s upowerd-silent upowerd  
popd

# Install upower
#
pushd .  
cd tools/.libs  
strip upower  
sudo chown root.root upower  
sudo mv upower /usr/bin/upower-silent  
cd /usr/bin  
sudo mv upower upower-original  
sudo ln -s upower-silent upower  
popd

# Restart upowerd
#
sudo systemctl restart upower

# Check the new version you've installed. It's likely different from the one you had originally
upower --version

Now enjoy your low battery spam-free system :)


Blog Logo

Gui Ambros

Maker, engineer, ad:tech veteran. Incurable optimist. I was there when the web was born. Opinions here are my own. @GuiAmbros


Published

Image

wrgms.com

/dev/random rants about technology, electronics, startups.

Back to Overview