How to Show Battery Percentage in Ubuntu Linux [Quick Tip]

Brief: This quick tip shows you how to display battery percentage in Ubuntu 20.04 and 18.04 that uses the GNOME desktop environment.

It is essential to keep an eye on the battery percentage while using Ubuntu on a laptop. You don’t want to get the notification about low battery at odd or uncomfortable timing.

While there is a battery indicator on Ubuntu desktop, it is in icon format. It is not very convenient to figure out the correct battery level with this icon.

The good thing is that you can enable battery percentage on your Ubuntu system running GNOME desktop environment.

Even though this feature is now available in distributions using GNOME 3.38 such as in the case of Ubuntu 20.10 but in distributions using older versions of GNOME such as Ubuntu 20.04 and 18.04 you don’t get this feature and therefore you’ll have to use a dedicated tool like GNOME Tweaks.

Let’s see first how to show the battery percentage in Ubuntu 20.04 and 18.04 and then I’ll show you how to do this in Ubuntu 20.10 and newer versions.

How to show battery percentage in Ubuntu 20.04 and 18.04

You can use the dconf editor for this task but we’ll be using GNOME Tweaks here. GNOME Tweaks is a versatile tool and you can use it to install themes in Ubuntu among many other things.

Step 1: Install GNOME Tweaks tool

Installing GNOME Tweaks too is fairly simple. Just search for it in the Software Center and install it from there.

Install Gnome Tweaks Tool

Alternatively, you can also use the command below to install GNOME Tweaks:

sudo apt install gnome-tweaks

Step 2: Enable battery percentage in GNOME Tweaks tool

Once installed, start the Tweaks tool by searching for it in applications. Use Super a.k.a. Windows key to bring up the search option.

GNOME Tweaks tool in Ubuntu 17.10

In here, go to Top Bar in the left sidebar and then toggle the option of Battery Percentage in the right sidebar.

Display battery percentage in Ubuntu GNOME

The changes take place immediately. You can see that your laptop’s battery percentage is displayed in the top right corner:

Display battery ercentage in Ubuntu 17.10 and 18.04

How to show battery percentage in Ubuntu 20.10 and newer versions

Show battery percentage option was added as a feature in GNOME 3.38 and since Ubuntu 20.10 uses GNOME 3.38 you can harness this feature.

To use this feature go to Settings by searching for it in applications. Use Super a.k.a. Windows key to bring up the search option.

Then go into the Power menu in the left sidebar and toggle the option of Show Battery Percentage present under Suspend and Power Button section. The change takes place immediately and you can see that your laptop’s battery percentage is displayed in the top right corner.

battery percentage ubuntu 20.10

I prefer to see the battery percentage, be it my laptop or my phone. It gives you an accurate idea of how much battery is remaining on the system instead of you trying to guess from those tiny bars in the battery icon.

I think I should include it in one of the first things to do after installing Ubuntu 20.04. What do you think?

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