How can I control the computer's fan speed?
On Windows there is a wonderful program called SpeedFan.
Note before starting:
This functionality depends on both your hardware and software. If your hardware doesn't support fan speed controls, or doesn't show them to the OS, it is very likely that you could not use this solution. If it does, but the software (aka kernel) doesn't know how to control it, you are without luck.
In my case for CPU I used:
If you own a ThinkPad, there's a piece of software called
Here's an easy step-by-step guide:
(which is basically a translated version of this German guide: http://thinkwiki.de/Thinkfan)
Relevant Information from Post:
Step 1. Install the thinkfan software and the sensors:
Step 2. Make sure that the daemon controls the fan by editting the thinkpad.conf file:
by adding the following line:
Step 3. Make the daemon load automatically at start-up by editting the file:
making sure that the START key is set to yes, i.e. there should be a line that says:
Step 4. Detect your laptop's sensors:
and just choose the default answers whenever you're prompted by hitting Enter.
Step 5. Load the new modules. From ubuntu 13.10 this done by:
while for previous versions like 13.04 you instead will need to do:
Step 6. Figure out which sensors are in use:
(the ones that indicate 0 degrees are not in use, I don't know why those are "detected" too). Remember which ones are in use.
Step 7. Find out the full paths of these sensors:
The output should be a list of paths like /sys/devices/...
Step 8. Copy-paste the paths to the sensors into the configuration file /etc/thinkpad.conf. To do this, first open up the file:
There should already be a line like
(the #-symbol means that that line is commented out). Add a line starting with sensor (without the #-symbol) and copy-paste you first sensor. Repeat this if you have more than one sensor. For example, on my machine, the output in step 7 yields
The ones that are in use in my machine are the ones in the first and the last two lines, so I added the three lines:
Step 9. Finally we can set the fan speed levels in the configuration file. Open the /etc/thinkpad.conf file if it wasn't open already.
The fan levels I use on my ThinkPad x201 are:
The last line ensures full fan speed (127 = "disengaged" i.e. unregulated). You can fiddle with these levels to fit your needs/wishes, but PLEASE BE CAREFUL!
Step 10. Reboot. Everything should work now. In order to check whether thinkpad is runnning correctly, use
which starts thinkfan in verbose mode. You might want to stop the thinkfan daemon first:
If you want to start the thinkfan daemon again, type:
Just to be complete, my /etc/thinkfan.conf configuration file is:
Documentation for configuring them is available on their man pages.
This is a function that is supposed to be provided by a ACPI-compliant BIOS, but it seems that most motherboard vendors don't bother to follow the standard.
For several Dell computers you can install i8kutils package:
If you have a non-tested Dell (like my Dell XPS 14z), you might have to force loading of kernel module:
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