If you have a relatively recent x86 mobile, desktop, or server system, odds are it supports either Advanced Power Management (APM) or Advanced Configuration and Power Interface (ACPI). ACPI is the newer of the two technologies and puts power management in the hands of the operating system, allowing for more intelligent power management than is possible with BIOS controlled APM.

The best way to determine which, if either, your system supports is to build a kernel with both ACPI and APM enabled (as of 2.3.x ACPI is enabled by default). If a working ACPI implementation is found, the ACPI driver will override and disable APM, otherwise the APM driver will be used.

No, sorry, you cannot have both ACPI and APM enabled and running at once. Some people with broken ACPI or broken APM implementations would like to use both to get a full set of working features, but you simply cannot mix and match the two. Only one power management interface can be in control of the machine at once. Think about it..

User-space Daemons

Both APM and ACPI rely on user-space daemons, apmd and acpid respectively, to be completely functional. Obtain both of these daemons from your Linux distribution or from the Internet (see below) and be sure that they are started sometime in the system boot process. Go ahead and start both. If ACPI or APM is not available on your system the associated daemon will exit gracefully.