So I've been bashing my face into this and getting nowhere. I am NOT ubuntu savvy and I prefer command line solutions if possible.

I installed i8kutils. I try to turn my fan on HIGH:

i8kfan 2 2

-1 2

I have no idea what -1 means for the fans as I can't find it in the documentation (although I may have missed it). One of my fans turns on with this command and it turns on for about 3 seconds.

With TLP I get:

tlp-stat -t

CPU temp               =    68 [°C]

Fan speed (fan2)       =     0 [/min]

I tried fan control as well. I get:

sudo pwmconfig

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

I don't know where my issue even lies anymore. I just want the fan. Always on is better than never on. I'd be happy to just run the thing at max if need be. Also, I have no idea how to post terminal output properly in the forums, so feel free to toss that out so I can clean up my post.

Edit: Thank you for the editing help gman! Still dunno how you did it :)

Edit: Installed xsensors 0.70 and it has an i8k tab and a coretemp tab. In the i8k tab I see my temperatures and then my rightfan speed says 84,000 RPM even though it isn't running. The core temps seem to be correct though.

  • ctrl+k will put the selected text into a scrollable code box. I know you like the command line, but i8kfangui might help you out. – TheWanderer Aug 28 '15 at 20:56
  • Unless I'm missing something, that link only has options for Windows OS. At the bottom they mention debian, but both links are broken. Also what I meant was that I'd love to get answers in a command-line format, not that I'm opposed to using a GUI. – Michael L Hansen Aug 28 '15 at 21:17
  • Search in the Software Center. I feel like I remember something like that there when I searched a while back. Search fan control and see what comes up. – TheWanderer Aug 28 '15 at 21:22
  • Nope, nothing of the sort pops up. I even visited their site. – Michael L Hansen Aug 28 '15 at 21:34
  • I could have sworn there was something. Searching fan control have nothing, even with showing the expert packages? – TheWanderer Aug 28 '15 at 21:35

Ok, so I "think" I fixed it, but it's being all wonky. I went into my i8kfan config file and set ALL configuration options to "2". I also found out that the -1, means no fan. So all my entries say something like:

{-1 2} regardless of the heat settings.

Here is the wonky part: my fan now turns up and down over time. Like high rev, low rev, back to high rev, back to low rev, etc... This happens at about 20 second intervals. At least it's keeping my CPU temp down.

I am assuming I have a bad sensor somewhere in my laptop as I was getting a lot of odd readings (84k rpm on a fan that isn't on). Anywho, if someone else comes along and has a similar issue:

sudo gedit /etc/i8kmon.conf

gedit will open. Paste this in to have it try running your fan on HIGH ALL THE TIME:

# Run as daemon, override with --daemon option
set config(daemon)      0

# Automatic fan control, override with --auto option
set config(auto)        1

# Report status on stdout, override with --verbose option
set config(verbose) 1

# Status check timeout (seconds), override with --timeout option
set config(timeout) 20

# Temperature thresholds: {fan_speeds low_ac high_ac low_batt high_batt}
set config(0)   {{-1 2}  -1  40  -1  40}
set config(1)   {{-1 2}  30  60  30  60}
set config(2)   {{-1 2}  53  128  53  128}

# For computer with 2 fans, use a variant of this instead:
# Temperature thresholds: {fan_speeds low_ac high_ac low_batt high_batt}
# set config(0) {{-1 2}  -1  52  -1  65}
# set config(1) {{-1 2}  41  66  55  75}
# set config(2) {{-1 2}  55  80  65  85}
# set config(3) {{-1 2}  70 128  75 128}

# end of file

I restarted my system after I saved the file and exited and now my fan is always on.

Hope this helps if someone else gets an issue like mine. Of course I'd be happy to vote a better solution if someone has it.


The revving you mention has to do with competing control over fan speeds. In both the XPS 9560 and Precision 5520 fan RPMS are controlled by the BIOS. When you run a fan program like i8kutils or fancontrol, the software competes with the BIOS. Disabling the BIOS is a risky task if your not totally sure what you are doing.

It is outlined here: https://www.reddit.com/r/Dell/comments/5y3rii/xps_9560_battery_life_optimization_and_fan/

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