Ask Ubuntu is a question and answer site for Ubuntu users and developers. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

So I've been using Ubuntu for a week now and I've noticed that my laptop heats up like crazy compared to windows and it auto-shuts down. Now I know that if I go to the terminal and use the command "sensors" it will show me the temperature. During basic browsing (like now), the temperature is about 50-60 C, but that's after I updated my Dell's BIOS, downloaded Jupiter, Powertop, laptop_mode_tools, lm-sensors, all the dell kernel modules, and enabled Intel i916 RC6. Before all that, the temperature was around 70-84 C. Yes, I know that's pretty impressive but when I ever open a vid/file it goes up to 70 something C and when I turn on Runescape (I don't play it, I just make scripts for it) it soars sky-high to 80-100. So I was wondering (I know theirs nothing else I can do to improve the temperature except to buy a cooling pad) if the temperature goes up to 80-90 C, could that possibly damage the internal systems (CPU,Motherboard,Hard Drive,Fan,Etc.) permanently or so badly that they need to be replaced? Just in case you need to know my system specs:

  • Libsmbios version: 2.2.28
  • Product Name: Inspiron N5010
  • Vendor: Dell Inc.
  • BIOS Version: A15 (newest one)
  • Processor: Intel® Core™ i3 CPU M 350 @ 2.27GHz × 4
  • Graphics: Intel® Ironlake Mobile
  • RAM: 4 GB
  • HDD: 350 GB
  • OS: Ubuntu 11.10 (Unity) 64 Bit
  • Fan is placed to the left of the laptop...

If anyone knows anyway I can improve the temperature please help out!

share|improve this question

Can overheating cause lasting damage: yes.

Why is it over temperature: I have a sneaking suspicion that it's using a vesa driver and offloading a lot of the graphics processing to the CPU. I had that issue for a short period when I was having a video driver permissions issue. It seemed to be working, but it had in fact failed back to vesa.

Intel video drivers not loading for various cards are all over askubuntu right now. Your card specifically was noted to have the same behavior on Fedora on this forum.

If you check and it is using the vesa driver, then it's an intel driver bug/unsupported report.

share|improve this answer
Thank you for the fast reply. But, what is the vesa card and how do I check if I'm using it or not. So its also on Fedora? Ubuntu AND Fedora... hmm... and how can I fix it? – PolyglotCode Mar 18 '12 at 7:40
vesa is a fairly universal driver, not a card. and intel going to vesa and being unfixable with the current driver is what i meant by 'all over the place' – RobotHumans Mar 18 '12 at 9:20
so how can I check and what can I do? – PolyglotCode Mar 18 '12 at 18:26
use 2D and file a bug report – RobotHumans Mar 18 '12 at 18:28

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.