Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Bodhi on My Chromebook: Battery Status, Movies


In recent posts I have discussed installing and using Bodhi on my Samsung (ARM) Chromebook.  Today I will discuss the issues I had with battery status and how I (hopefully) resolved them. Also, I provide a little information on seeing if I could play movies on my Chromebook.

Battery Gadget

Bodhi offers a battery gadget for displaying battery status.  You can find a brief description on the Bodhi Module reference page under "System".  I added the gadget to my main taskbar shelf.  However, I got erratic results from the gadget. For instance, when plugged in I often would get a message that the battery was getting low and that it needed to be plugged in.  It also seemed to always be showing about half full.

I discovered what I believe is the battery status for my system under:


In looking at the source for the enlightenment battery meter, it appears this is what it checks first. I also noticed that it would then check for the existence of  /proc/acpi (for ACPI) and /proc/apm (for APM). Although I had acpid installed and tried installing apmd, these directories were not there.

After rebooting, the battery status meter looked better.  I also went to the settings of the battery gadget and (using Advanced) scrolled over to the "Hardware" tab and selected "Internal" and checked "Fuzzy Mode". I seem to be having more accurate results with this.

One frustrating thing about some of these Bodhi gadgets is there isn't a lot of documentation on some of these finer details. At least I could not find any. For example, what does "Internal" mean in the settings? What about "Fuzzy Mode".  Given the community is so much smaller than debian, ubuntu, Arch, etc. I guess I can't really complain. There aren't thousands of eyes looking at this stuff all the time for Bodhi like some other distros.

At any rate at this point it seems to be working better. It seems to know when it is charging and discharging, etc.


I was asked by someone in the Bodhi community whether movies would play under Bodhi on my Chromebook, specifically at 720p.  I originally tried vlc, but in playing any movie I got no audio, no matter how much I fiddled with the audio preferences. I then decided to try mplayer2 and smplayer. Using this, I was able to play a 720p mp4 movie. Audio was fine.  I also discovered that by installing gecko-mediaplayer I could launch movies from within the chromium browser. I should also mention that I have the x264 package installed as well, which is probably necessary.