When I boot into Ubuntu from my USB pendrive, my laptop fan becomes abnormally loud and the fan temperature also increases (I can feel the heat by putting my hand under the laptop). This doesn't happen with Windows. I've done my research, and found out that it may be a problem with the graphics card - I've got an ATI RADEON XPRESS 1100. Quite a lot of people have noted that it may be a problem with Ubuntu not being able to handle power management properly with this graphics card. Also, I am not running any CPU-intensive or memory-intensive programs - when I go to Preferences > System Monitor, the memory usage is only around ~250-400 megabytes and the CPU usage hardly ever goes above 20.

My laptop is an ASUS X51RLseries laptop, by the way. I'm also just trying Ubuntu at the moment - does this have anything to do with the abnormally high fan temperature? When I actually install Ubuntu on a separate partition (so that I can dual boot both Windows and Ubuntu), will the temperature and fan loudness decrease? On Windows, my Hard Drive temperature at the moment is 41 degrees Celsius, and my CPU temperature is 53 degrees Celsius. This is normal for me, and it may increase or decrease slightly depending on the amount of work I am putting on my laptop.

I'm quite a newb at Ubuntu yet, so if you could explain instructions clearly to me then I would greatly appreciate it. I know how to do basic stuff, but if you are very detailed then that would be very helpful. If there's anything I've missed or if you need to know anything else, then please let me know. Thanks.


I have a ATI card and it get's really hot running Ubuntu with the normal open sourde ATI drivers. Installing the official drivers and set them to minimum the laptop runs normal.

  • I've looked on the ASUS website for the offical drivers... but either it can't find them or I'm looking for the wrong thing. If somebody could post a link, I would be very appreciative. – hasc Nov 26 '10 at 20:21
  • Ubuntu will prompt you after install for installing the ati driver (system tray) . just activate the recommended driver and reboot You can manual find entry inside the configuration screen called extra drivers (extra stuurprogramma's on mine) – Dummyxl Nov 26 '10 at 22:04
  • Okay, that helps. I presume some a few other problems I've been having will also be rectified from the hard-disk install. I'll just have to wait and see. Thanks. – hasc Nov 26 '10 at 22:35

I'm just a n00b to these forums (and Ubuntu as well) but I was suffering the same problem with my Gateway 7330gz laptop. It would get so hot (80 C) that it would automatically shut down.

I also read the forum posts on this subject and someone suggested cleaning the interior with canned air and getting rid of the dust bunnies. Everybody else in the forum wanted a fix for their cards - new drivers, other software, whatever - I blew out the dust through the fan vents et voila! my temps dropped form the 60s to the 50s in a hot minute. I've replicated the scenarios that caused the laptop to overheat and I haven't hit 75 since I chased the bunnies back to their hutch.

So if you've got some canned air around....

  • That would help, but it's definitely a problem with Ubuntu - like I've mentioned. It doesn't happen with Windows at all. If I manage to grab some compressed air I'll give it a shot anyhow. – hasc Nov 26 '10 at 17:10
  • I had a similar issue on my HP dv7 with a nVidia card. It was the fan indeed (though I didn't have compressed air available). However (while you get my vote cause it might help someone else), the details mention it doesn't happen on Windows, so it is obviously mainly a driver issue. – RolandiXor Aug 26 '11 at 21:28

From my understanding your problem does not regard overheating but fan speed.

If the fan is spinning too fast then is as well more loud ( but the system is not heater, quite the contrary ). Infact if the temperature of the air that is drained from your notebook is higher that means that the PC temperature is cooler :)

You can try to adjust the fan speed either by the bios of your PC ( if permitted ) or with the help of lm_sensors package ( that you can find in the Ubuntu Software Center ).


  • It looks like I've already got that installed. I'm not exactly sure how to use it so that I can reduce the speed of my fans. – hasc Nov 26 '10 at 18:13

Regarding temperature issue: 1. Verify if there are any CPU-consuming processes by use of standard System Monitor. 2. Install Gnome Sensor Applet, which works well with most of nowadays laptops. Even little fluctuations of CPU load may provoke an overheating. So try to figure out if laptop's fan is functioning in Ubuntu. If it is possible, install Ubuntu to hard drive in order to eliminate possible USB malfunctioning issues.

I am using an ASUS K52F (Intel i3 M350), most of hardware works well under Ubuntu 10.10.

Best wishes.

  • 1. Nope, there aren't. 2. I'll give that a try the next time I boot into Ubuntu. – hasc Nov 26 '10 at 18:55
  • I must admit, that heating (not overheating :) ) issue I encountered with new 11.10 version. I don't know what is a reason of such behaviour, but now "normal" CPU temperature is about 53-55 deg.Celsius :). I performed a clean install, no additional drivers, no particular hardware. My laptop is a very stadard iCore M350, RAM 4 Gb, Intel graphics (Intel Ironlake mobile driver), HDD 500 Gb (5400 rpm), Ubuntu 11.10, kernel 3-0-0.13 PAE generic. A mean CPU temperature in 10.10 was about 42-45 deg.Cels, sometimes between 45-50 deg. w/o intensive CPU usage. – Vincenzo Oct 23 '11 at 22:47

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