suspend and hibernate

When it comes to power options in Linux distros, there are Logout, Shutdown, Suspend, and Hibernate functions. Logout and Shutdown are self-explanatory. Let’s learn what are Hibernate and Suspend operations and differences between them.

suspend and hibernate


Suspend is same as Sleep in Windows. This mode doesn’t power off your computer. RAM is still powered during the entire suspend state and so the computer will still be consuming power all the time. This mode is not a great choice for laptops as battery will get drained. However, it may serve as a good option to keep the working session along with programs and apps that you were using and later resume immediately after wake-up from suspend. Due to this nature of the mode, you have to be careful that the computer never loses power or runs out of battery life as the session and files will not be saved and data-loss is imminent for the files that are not saved.


On the Hibernate shuts down the computer completely and so there will be no power consumption when the PC is in Hibernation state. When you put the computer to Hibernate, the session content from the RAM are moved to hard disk swap space and then system is powered off. When waked up from Hibernation, the session contents from swap gets copied back to RAM and so it takes more time than sleep to get the PC into working state.

Why some Linux distros don’t have Hibernate enabled by default?

Hibernate is not a smooth going at times due to the very nature of its working. If the SWAP partition is not set properly there could be data loss due to crash and computer freeze at startup are common problems associated with Hibernation. So what is it with the SWAP partition? Typically, Linux needs the size of RAM for its SWAP size, but not all people follow it perfectly and so the Hibernate problems. Ubuntu had Hibernate as default feature in the Power panel, but since Ubuntu 12.04 LTS timing, the feature was dropped due to ever increasing problems reported by several users. But it doesn’t mean you can’t hibernate anymore. All you need to do is first check if your computer is compatible with the mode.

How to check if your PC is compatible to Hibernate?

Launch ‘Terminal’ and type the following command:

sudo pm-hibernate

After your PC turns off, switch it back on and check if your open applications re-open? If hibernate doesn’t work, check if your swap partition is at least as large as your available RAM. Linux recommends twice as size of RAM for its SWAP partition. For example if your PC has 8 GB of RAM, then you should be having at least 16 GB of SWAP partition.

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Hi there! I'm Kiran Kumar, founder of I'm an avid Linux lover and enjoy hands-on with new promising distros. Currently, I'm using Ubuntu as a daily driver and run several other distros such as Fedora, Solus, Manjaro, Debian, and some new ones on my test PC and virtual machines. I have a day job as an Engineer, and this website is one of my favorite past time activities especially during Winter ;). When I'm not writing for FOSSLinux, I'm seen biking and hiking on scenic trails. Hope you enjoy using this website as much as I do writing for it. Feedback from readers is something that inspires me to do more, and spread Linux love!. If you find a time, drop me an email or feedback from the 'Contact' page. Or simply leave a comment below if you found this article useful. Have a good day!

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