I found a post on "How to control the fan speed on my laptop" but nothing about the same thing on a desktop. I'd like to replicate the same thing on my desktop but till now I had not such luck.

I tried to do the same thing on that post, so I followed every step. Unfortunately I got stack in "3. Configure fancontrol" when you execute the command sudo pwmconfig. I get the following message:

# pwmconfig revision 5857 (2010-08-22) 

This program will search your sensors for pulse width modulation (pwm)
controls, and test each one to see if it controls a fan on
your motherboard. Note that many motherboards do not have pwm
circuitry installed, even if your sensor chip supports pwm.

We will attempt to briefly stop each fan using the pwm controls.
The program will attempt to restore each fan to full speed
after testing. However, it is ** very important ** that you
physically verify that the fans have been to full speed
after the program has completed.

/usr/sbin/pwmconfig: There are no pwm-capable sensor modules installed

So when at the point "4" I execute the command sudo fancontrol I get:

Loading configuration from /etc/fancontrol ...
Error: Can't read configuration file

Is what I'm trying to do even even possible on a desktop computer?


On a desktop, I'd be more inclined to look at controlling the CPU fan speed in the BIOS rather than through the OS. From what you've written, it looks like your Motherboard doesn't support software control of the CPU fan anyway. In most Bios setups, there is an option to change the heat to speed ratio of the fan, that would be my first port of call if you have a hot or noisy cpu/fan.


Baring being able to control speed/noise with software, Zalman makes a hardware adjustable fan speed controller that costs less than $10 and works with 3 pin computer fans. Not all fans are software speed controllable. I may be mistaken but I've read that a 4th pin is required for software control. You can determine which fan is noisy by applying pressure to the center hub a fan to slow it down and identify which fans are noisy. Put the controller in line with the fan power and turn the knob slowly until the noise is no longer audible. You can also install the lm-sensors package to get readings of fan speeds and resulting temperatures. In my case, adjusting for sound cut the fan speed in half and there was no difference in temperature for the cooled processor.

  • This seems like a good way to let chips die a long slow heat death. – naught101 Feb 16 '17 at 4:34

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