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I've just installed 12.04 as a clean install on my laptop (previously had 11.10 installed) and I've noticed that my fan is running almost constantly. I'm a Linux newbie, so I'd be grateful if you could treat me like an idiot when you're answering my question - just so I have a reasonable chance of understanding what to do. Thanks Rob

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have you installed graphic card drivers? I had similar issue installing the graphic card drivers solved the problem for me. –  Ankit Nov 23 '12 at 8:46
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I would suspect that there is a program using the CPU a lot. When the CPU is used, it creates heat inside the computer which makes the fan spin faster. Open the system monitor to see which program is using the CPU. If you go to Dash Home and type "system monitor" you should be able to start it. Then go to the Processes tab and click on the % CPU column. Then you can tell us which program is using the most CPU.

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