ACPI Watch

Acpiw (short for ACPI watch) displays the content of /proc/acpi (where the Linux ACPI system reveals a lot of information) and records changes in the files there. You might use it

  • to explore the Linux ACPI system
  • to check if displayed values like temperature or battery capacity reflect the real changes (which is not always as it should -- some notebooks, e.g., display a constant CPU temperature)
  • to find out if an (and which) ACPI event is generated when you press the IE button of your notebook in order to assign some useful action
  • to see at a glance which entries in /proc/acpi are writeable
  • to record the values over a longer period of time in a file
  • to quickly find some relevant system information and the ACPI messages in the syslog
  • and probably some more purposes

I originally wrote it to learn about Linux' ACPI system, but since then found it useful to explore the ACPI capabilities of different computers. acpiw makes very few assumptions about the content of /proc/acpi. It has a text mode interface, useful mainly for documentation purposes, and a Gtk+ interface.

Just to give you a basic idea:

Screenshot of gtkacpiw

The tree on the left consists of directories ("thermal_zone"), containing files like "temperature" (or other directories), containing entries ("temperature:"). An entry is one line in a file.

Red entries (or, in the case of directories, some entries in some files in this directory) have changed since the start of the program -- just let acpiw run for some minutes, and you will have an idea what is changing and what is constant in /proc/acpi).

Blue entries are writeable.

In the right part of the window, you see the history of the entry that is selected in the tree.


Download a tgz archive with sources and binaries from the project page hosted at SourceForge

Find some more information in the Readme file

Bugs: some to many, I guess (but the program works for me since two years.) If you like it, dislike it, have some ideas or want to contribute code, please contact me via the mail interface

The ACPI watch home page ( (C) 2004 Oliver Diedrich