* BIG FAT WARNING *********************************************************
* If you have unsupported (*) devices using DMA...
* ...say goodbye to your data.
* If you touch anything on disk between suspend and resume...
* ...kiss your data goodbye.
* If your disk driver does not support suspend... (IDE does)
* ...you'd better find out how to get along
* without your data.
* If you change kernel command line between suspend and resume...
* ...prepare for nasty fsck or worse.
* If you change your hardware while system is suspended...
* ...well, it was not good idea.
* (*) suspend/resume support is needed to make it safe.
You need to append resume=/dev/your_swap_partition to kernel command
line. Then you suspend by
echo shutdown > /sys/power/disk; echo disk > /sys/power/state
. If you feel ACPI works pretty well on your system, you might try
echo platform > /sys/power/disk; echo disk > /sys/power/state
Article about goals and implementation of Software Suspend for Linux
Author: G��bor Kuti
Last revised: 2003-10-20 by Pavel Machek
Idea and goals to achieve
Nowadays it is common in several laptops that they have a suspend button. It
saves the state of the machine to a filesystem or to a partition and switches
to standby mode. Later resuming the machine the saved state is loaded back to
ram and the machine can continue its work. It has two real benefits. First we
save ourselves the time machine goes down and later boots up, energy costs
are real high when running from batteries. The other gain is that we don't have to
interrupt our programs so processes that are calculating something for a long
time shouldn't need to be written interruptible.
swsusp saves the state of the machine into active swaps and then reboots or
powerdowns. You must explicitly specify the swap partition to resume from with
``resume='' kernel option. If signature is found it loads and restores saved
state. If the option ``noresume'' is specified as a boot parameter, it skips
In the meantime while the system is suspended you should not add/remove any
of the hardware, write to the filesystems, etc.
Sleep states summary
There are three different interfaces you can use, /proc/acpi should
work like this:
In a really perfect world:
echo 1 > /proc/acpi/sleep # for standby
echo 2 > /proc/acpi/sleep # for suspend to ram
echo 3 > /proc/acpi/sleep # for suspend to ram, but with more power conservative
echo 4 > /proc/acpi/sleep # for suspend to disk
echo 5 > /proc/acpi/sleep # for shutdown unfriendly the system
echo 4b > /proc/acpi/sleep # for suspend to disk via s4bios
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: well, suspending a server is IMHO a really stupid thing,
but... (Diego Zuccato):
A: You bought new UPS for your server. How do you install it without
bringing machine down? Suspend to disk, rearrange power cables,
You have your server on UPS. Power died, and UPS is indicating 30
seconds to failure. What do you do? Suspend to disk.
Ethernet card in your server died. You want to replace it. Your
server is not hotplug capable. What do you do? Suspend to disk,
replace ethernet card, resume. If you are fast your users will not
even see broken connections.
Q: Maybe I'm missing something, but why don't the regular I/O paths work?
A: We do use the regular I/O paths. However we cannot restore the data
to its original location as we load it. That would create an
inconsistent kernel state which would certainly result in an oops.
Instead, we load the image into unused memory and then atomically copy
it back to it original location. This implies, of course, a maximum
image size of half the amount of memory.
There are two solutions to this:
* require half of memory to be free during suspend. That way you can
read "new" data onto free spots, then cli and copy
* assume we had special "polling" ide driver that only uses memory
between 0-640KB. That way, I'd have to make sure that 0-640KB is free
during suspending, but otherwise it would work...
suspend2 shares this fundamental limitation, but does not include user
data and disk caches into "used memory" by saving them in
advance. That means that the limitation goes away in practice.
Q: Does linux support ACPI S4?
A: Yes. That's what echo platform > /sys/power/disk does.
Q: My machine doesn't work with ACPI. How can I use swsusp than ?
A: Do a reboot() syscall with right parameters. Warning: glibc gets in
its way, so check with strace:
reboot(LINUX_REBOOT_MAGIC1, LINUX_REBOOT_MAGIC2, 0xd000fce2)
(Thanks to Peter Osterlund:)
#define LINUX_REBOOT_MAGIC1 0xfee1dead
#define LINUX_REBOOT_MAGIC2 672274793
#define LINUX_REBOOT_CMD_SW_SUSPEND 0xD000FCE2
syscall(SYS_reboot, LINUX_REBOOT_MAGIC1, LINUX_REBOOT_MAGIC2,
Also /sys/ interface should be still present.
Q: What is 'suspend2'?
A: suspend2 is 'Software Suspend 2', a forked implementation of
suspend-to-disk which is available as separate patches for 2.4 and 2.6
kernels from swsusp.sourceforge.net. It includes support for SMP, 4GB
highmem and preemption. It also has a extensible architecture that
allows for arbitrary transformations on the image (compression,
encryption) and arbitrary backends for writing the image (eg to swap
or an NFS share[Work In Progress]). Questions regarding suspend2
should be sent to the mailing list available through the suspend2
website, and not to the Linux Kernel Mailing List. We are working
toward merging suspend2 into the mainline kernel.
Q: A kernel thread must voluntarily freeze itself (call 'refrigerator').
I found some kernel threads that don't do it, and they don't freeze
so the system can't sleep. Is this a known behavior?
A: All such kernel threads need to be fixed, one by one. Select the
place where the thread is safe to be frozen (no kernel semaphores
should be held at that point and it must be safe to sleep there), and
if (current->flags & PF_FREEZE)
If the thread is needed for writing the image to storage, you should
instead set the PF_NOFREEZE process flag when creating the thread.
Q: What is the difference between between "platform", "shutdown" and
"firmware" in /sys/power/disk?
shutdown: save state in linux, then tell bios to powerdown
platform: save state in linux, then tell bios to powerdown and blink
firmware: tell bios to save state itself [needs BIOS-specific suspend
partition, and has very little to do with swsusp]
"platform" is actually right thing to do, but "shutdown" is most
Q: I do not understand why you have such strong objections to idea of
A: Do selective suspend during runtime power managment, that's okay. But
its useless for suspend-to-disk. (And I do not see how you could use
it for suspend-to-ram, I hope you do not want that).
Lets see, so you suggest to
* SUSPEND all but swap device and parents
* Write image to disk
* SUSPEND swap device and parents
Oh no, that does not work, if swap device or its parents uses DMA,
you've corrupted data. You'd have to do
* SUSPEND all but swap device and parents
* FREEZE swap device and parents
* UNFREEZE swap device and parents
* SUSPEND swap device and parents
Which means that you still need that FREEZE state, and you get more
complicated code. (And I have not yet introduce details like system
Q: There don't seem to be any generally useful behavioral
distinctions between SUSPEND and FREEZE.
A: Doing SUSPEND when you are asked to do FREEZE is always correct,
but it may be unneccessarily slow. If you want USB to stay simple,
slowness may not matter to you. It can always be fixed later.
For devices like disk it does matter, you do not want to spindown for
Q: After resuming, system is paging heavilly, leading to very bad interactivity.
A: Try running
cat `cat /proc/[0-9]*/maps | grep / | sed 's:.* /:/:' | sort -u` > /dev/null
after resume. swapoff -a; swapon -a may also be usefull.