I would like to know how to change (lower, in my case) CPU speed easily to adjust my needs. I have done research on the internet and it appears the same answers come back... "there is no need to lower your CPU speed". Well, great for the majority, yet, I have a need for it. It has always been the simplest way for me to stop my laptop from overheating and crashing... yes, ubuntu crashes due to overheating,... I had to go through updates 4 times before getting through using icepacks and a fan...

So here is my question: How can I easily control my CPU speed in Ubuntu? Any answer concerning this question is greatly appreciated! Thank You all in advance! :)

  • 1
    This sounds like an XY problem meta.stackexchange.com/questions/66377/what-is-the-xy-problem . Maybe you should focus on your actual problem "ubuntu crashes due to overheating". Last time I had a problem like that I had to upgrade my BIOS (2010).
    – xangua
    Commented Jun 12, 2015 at 4:50
  • There are many answers. Any that I give would be based on primitive commands and not on higher level tools. The answer depends on which frequency scaling driver you are using. Do: cat /sys/devices/system/cpu/cpu*/cpufreq/scaling_driver and perhaps edit that information into your question. Commented Jun 12, 2015 at 6:10
  • @xangua I don't think so. I had the same problem once, the hardcoded temperature limit of my cpu was 85°C, which could be easily reached when having Minecraft and Chrome up at the same time, simply because the heat sink was designed in a way it could actually have been left away.
    – s3lph
    Commented Jun 12, 2015 at 7:27
  • I thank you for your answers; my laptop has a sticker A4 VISION AMD - I know how to get the info easily under windows but not in ubuntu. Also, changing the maximum processor speed in windows is simple; the information you guys are giving me feels already too advanced for me... I just wish I could make it stop crashing, same way i had fixed it in windows, lower CPU max down to 70% Thanks again! Commented Sep 8, 2015 at 7:41

4 Answers 4


One of the best ways to do this is to install indicator-cpufreq if you wish to do the limit frequently [since this app starts on login]:

sudo apt install indicator-cpufreq

While if you do limits not so often, you can install cpufrequtils

sudo apt install cpufrequtils

These are the safe ways too, in the sense that you do not have to do edits inside the system.


You've not mentioned the CPU model, so we don't know if it supports scaling, but if it does, you could try using cpufrequtils from the repositories.

  1. Install: sudo apt-get install cpufrequtils

  2. sudo cpufreq-set -g powersave - this will change the governot to convervative, and use the lowest frequency

  3. sudo cpufreq-set -f <supported-frequency> - to change the frequency manually.

For more info look at cpufreq-info --help and cpufreq-set.

  • 1
    The acpi-cpufreq scaling driver conservative governor does not use the lowest CPU frequencies. It uses a slower CPU frequency Verses load response curve. The powersave governor uses the lowest CPU frequencies. Commented Jun 12, 2015 at 6:27
  • I have added info in comments up-top; I will look into your solution, yet still unsure of what all of this means even though I have read of cpufrequtils in other places, i'm worried I could mess something up. Commented Sep 8, 2015 at 7:42

With Ubuntu 22.04, I managed to easily change CPU frequency with cpupower-gui

sudo apt install cpupower-gui


  • seems adjusting min and max frequencies have no immediate effect on clock speed. while doing $ watch -n1 “cat /proc/cpuinfo | grep Hz” with my governor in performance mode I get 3.4GHz whenever I set both min and max to be 5GHz
    – linker
    Commented Feb 21, 2023 at 20:42
  • @LiNKeR I'm not sure about the reliability of this command but I did had good results with the small app I used. My laptop's fans were going crazy because of this issue. I then used auto-cpufreq if I remember. You should give it a try
    – Brewal
    Commented Feb 22, 2023 at 21:48

I did this with setting up in /etc/sysfs.cfg

In my case I did fill in this file the following line for each cpu

devices/system/cpu/cpufreq/policy0/scaling_max_freq = 2700000
devices/system/cpu/cpufreq/policy1/scaling_max_freq = 2700000

and it worked for me. To find out how the exact path is to your controls, you've only to search through /sys/ as the lines in the /etc/sysfs.ctl do exactly that, they set up the values in this place. I had 8 cpus so there are 8 lines beginning with policy0 and ending with polidy7.

To quick check how it works on your system I did use the inline function:


with that function you may see how your system operates the cpu at the moment. So if it is setted up you may check if that worked or not.

To quick check how it workes you may do such kind of a command

sudo /bin/sh -c " echo 2700000 > /sys/devices/system/cpu/cpufreq/policy0/scaling_max_freq "

if you only want to give a special programm rules you could use the tool cgroups. I think to drop down the speed is not allways better for the temperatur as if you get than because of this to much processes waiting, your cpus will run all the time on full speed and your system stays slow. But I did it because of the same reason. My cpu is now not more running with full speed 3100000 and uses a maximum value of 2700000 what is quick enough for me and doesn*t disturbs at all. I've never got the heat that quick up.

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