On Xubuntu, there is no easy way to manage one’s Macbook: the battery panel plugin only allows you to follow your battery {dis,}charge, and to execute a command when it reaches a critical level. On feisty, you can install pommed 1.2 to be able to use your keyboard hotkeys to adjust the LCD backlight, the sound volume or eject the CD-ROM drive.

But I wasn’t completely satisfied either. I was still missing the following feature: automatic backlight adjusting when you switch between battery and AC power (and support for newer macbooks - I have a first generation macbook, so that’s not an issue for me). As I didn’t want to create a custom script (yes, I’m lazy ;P), I installed gnome-power-manager instead, with the following drawbacks: it also manages the backlight hotkeys and therefore conflicts with pommed; it’s a gnome panel applet and not an xfce one.

On gutsy, the situation is going to be different! The latest release of pommed now supports automatic LCD backlight dimming when switching from AC to battery power (and vice-versa; the previous backlight level will be restored when switching from battery to AC power again). I built the debian package, removed gnome-power-manager and tried… And it really works out of the box! (a big thanks to the author and debian maintainer :)

I have requested a sync from Debian Unstable to include this latest release in gutsy, so that average users who don’t want to compile will be able to install it as soon as gutsy is released. \o/