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I recently installed xubuntu 16.04 on an older Macbook Air, and I'm noticing that after 30 min or so the laptop gets really hot and the fan gets really loud. When I boot into the macOS partition this doesn't happen, only with xubuntu.

$ uname -a

Linux macbook 4.13.0-36-generic #40~16.04.1-Ubuntu SMP Fri Feb 16 23:25:58 UTC 2018 x86_64 x86_64 x86_64 GNU/Linux

$ lsb_release -a

No LSB modules are available.
Distributor ID: Ubuntu
Description:    Ubuntu 16.04.4 LTS
Release:    16.04
Codename:   xenial

After googling around a bit, I found the sensors and upower commands but I don't really know what temp the Core's or BAT0 should be at. Does this look normal?

$ sudo sensors

BAT0-virtual-0
Adapter: Virtual device
temp1:        +39.6°C  

coretemp-isa-0000
Adapter: ISA adapter
Package id 0:  +58.0°C  (high = +87.0°C, crit = +105.0°C)
Core 0:        +58.0°C  (high = +87.0°C, crit = +105.0°C)
Core 1:        +52.0°C  (high = +87.0°C, crit = +105.0°C)

applesmc-isa-0300
Adapter: ISA adapter
Exhaust  :   4559 RPM  (min = 2000 RPM, max = 6500 RPM)
TB0T:         +39.2°C  
TB1T:         +39.2°C  
TB2T:         +36.8°C  
TC0C:         +57.8°C  
TC0D:         +56.8°C  
TC0E:         +59.0°C  
TC0F:         +60.2°C  
TC0P:         +51.2°C  
TC1C:         +58.0°C  
TC2C:         +51.0°C  
TCGC:         +53.0°C  
TCSA:         +52.0°C  
TCXC:         +57.8°C  
TH0A:         +51.0°C  
TH0B:         +52.8°C  
TH0J:        -127.0°C  
TH0O:        -127.0°C  
TH0a:         +51.0°C  
TH0b:         +52.8°C  
TH0c:        -127.0°C  
TH0x:         +52.8°C  
THSP:         +48.2°C  
TM0P:         +52.5°C  
TPCD:         +67.0°C  
Ta0P:         +54.8°C  
Th1H:         +41.8°C  
Tm0P:         +48.2°C  
Tm1P:         +54.5°C  
Ts0P:         +36.8°C  
Ts0S:         +42.5°C  


$ sudo upower -i /org/freedesktop/UPower/devices/battery_BAT0

  native-path:          BAT0
  vendor:               SMP
  model:                bq20z451
  power supply:         yes
  updated:              17 seconds ago
  has history:          yes
  has statistics:       yes
  battery
    present:             yes
    rechargeable:        yes
    state:               discharging
    warning-level:       none
    energy:              32.985 Wh
    energy-empty:        0 Wh
    energy-full:         39.3975 Wh
    energy-full-design:  50.25 Wh
    energy-rate:         11.28 W
    voltage:             7.834 V
    time to empty:       2.9 hours
    percentage:          66%
    temperature:         39.6 degrees C
    capacity:            78.403%
    technology:          lithium-ion
    icon-name:          'battery-full-symbolic'
  History (charge):
    1529609228  66.000  discharging
  History (rate):
    1529609228  11.280  discharging

There are no background processes being overworked it seems:

$ sudo top

top - 12:40:08 up  3:41,  2 users,  load average: 0.24, 0.39, 0.41
Tasks: 182 total,   1 running, 181 sleeping,   0 stopped,   0 zombie
%Cpu(s):  0.3 us,  0.3 sy,  0.0 ni, 99.3 id,  0.0 wa,  0.0 hi,  0.0 si,  0.0 st
KiB Mem :  3944404 total,  2653820 free,   573536 used,   717048 buff/cache
KiB Swap:  4095996 total,  4095996 free,        0 used.  3019420 avail Mem 

  PID USER      PR  NI    VIRT    RES    SHR S  %CPU %MEM     TIME+ COMMAND        
 1443 root      20   0  321212  64936  38640 S   1.3  1.6   5:36.48 Xorg           
 1636 user      20   0  356184  25544  19768 S   0.3  0.6   0:22.71 xfce4-panel    
 1641 user      20   0  738776  32060  23072 S   0.3  0.8   0:10.18 xfce4-terminal 
 1787 user      20   0  161604  13104  11592 S   0.3  0.3   0:35.31 panel-2-cpugrap
 4452 root      20   0       0      0      0 S   0.3  0.0   0:00.34 kworker/u8:5   
 4537 user      20   0 2248908 321816 102592 S   0.3  8.2   1:10.53 firefox        
 4589 user      20   0 1800984 176468  88148 S   0.3  4.5   0:42.73 Web Content    
    1 root      20   0  185232   5896   4044 S   0.0  0.1   0:02.29 systemd        
    2 root      20   0       0      0      0 S   0.0  0.0   0:00.01 kthreadd       
    4 root       0 -20       0      0      0 S   0.0  0.0   0:00.00 kworker/0:0H   
    6 root       0 -20       0      0      0 S   0.0  0.0   0:00.00 mm_percpu_wq   
    7 root      20   0       0      0      0 S   0.0  0.0   0:00.04 ksoftirqd/0    
    8 root      20   0       0      0      0 S   0.0  0.0   0:06.79 rcu_sched      
    9 root      20   0       0      0      0 S   0.0  0.0   0:00.00 rcu_bh        

I'm not sure how to investigate further or identify the overheating. Any advice would be wonderful.

  • Your temps look fine, however your heat/fans say different. The computer will shutdown at 200F. 150F is a little high. 115F is normal/idling. Search for user:4272 thermald and read my comments about thermald. – heynnema Jun 21 '18 at 20:44
  • Don't forget to put a fire-extinguisher next to you ;) – abu_bua Jun 21 '18 at 22:01
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You could try installing macfanctld using

 apt install macfanctld

According to its description it should enable fan control for macbooks:

Description: fan control daemon for Apple MacBook / MacBook Pro computers This daemon reads the temperature sensors in an Apple Macbook (or Macbook Pro) computer and throttles the fans accordingly to keep the temperature within configurable limits.

If it is an option to upgrade to 18.04, you could also try mbpfan. Unfortunately mbpfan is not available as a package for 16.04:

Description: fan control daemon for Apple Macbooks mbpfan is a daemon that uses input from coretemp module and sets the fan speed using the applesmc module. This enhanced version assumes any number of processors and fans (max. 10).

The outpout you posted does not look like you made it at a time your laptop was very hot. To me it looks quite normal.

  • Thanks so much, I've been using macfanctld for the last hour. The fans haven't been put into medium/high speed and the laptop isn't quite as hot, still warmer than using the macOS partition, but still significantly better than before. Also, though the command outputs don't look like they were made when the laptop was hot, they were. – Laura Jun 22 '18 at 7:18
0

It could be helpful to tell us which Macbook Air you have.

If your Macbook has a Nvidia graphic card and if your not using the Nvidia proprietary driver, but the nouveau driver, then I think your overheating problem it's most likely related to that.

I had a similar problem with a Macbook Pro 7,1. What worked for me : I installed the Nvidia proprietary driver following carefully the instructions given here.

I hope that will work for you.

0

The only way to make the machine run cooler is to lower the CPU clock as much as possible. As your said the fan is already running at full blast, changing the fan speed probably won't help you cool down your machine.

Install CPU frequency utilities to allow custom CPU frequency control, even limiting the maximum CPU frequency and hence lessen the heat generated. I would suggest selecing a lower power governor first to see if that solve your problem before going into more tweaking.

sudo apt-get install linux-tools-common
sudo apt-get install linux-tools-generic
sudo apt-get install cpufrequtils

Now check the governor available on your machine.

cat /sys/devices/system/cpu/cpu0/cpufreq/scaling_available_governors

On mine, only performance and powersave is available. Edit /etc/init.d/cpufrequtils to modify the GOVERNOR to powersave and reboot your machine.

GOVERNOR="powersave"

  • Hey Bernard, thank you for your suggestion. I've been using macfanctld and haven't experienced any overheating. If the issue returns I'll give this solution a try. – Laura Jun 22 '18 at 7:21

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