Fan control in Linux

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Fan control in Linux

Postposted on Fri Sep 07, 2012 9:58 pm

There is one thing that kinda seems wrong in the Mint install. That is fan control.

The laptop is barely warm, but the fans are kicking at almost 100%, all the time :roll:

I haven't used Windows on this PC for ages, and I don't know if maybe that's the normal behavior. But it feels as if the fans are way too aggressive.

I think I saw someone mentioning fan control in one of the threads here. Is it a common issue?

I have an AMD based laptop with Mint 13 (Mate).

The problem might as well be a high CPU usage... But why?

With minimized "System Monitor", minimized "Terminal" and just a full screen "Firefox" the CPU usage seems very high...

Code: Select all
cat /proc/loadavg
0.75 0.74 0.94 1/292 3489
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Re: Fan control in Linux

Postposted on Fri Sep 07, 2012 10:46 pm

top(1) is your friend. Also look into lm-sensors to see if your machine's got temp and fan-speed sensors.

At one time my Acer 1410 needed a module to be compiled and loaded at boot so its fans could be controlled, but now that it's older this is no longer necessary. Have you looked at the Ubuntu wiki to see if they've got a page for your laptop? They do for some and it will detail which h/w works and which doesn't, and any needed workarounds. Sometimes it's not updated, though, and the page is for some old version like 11.04.
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Re: Fan control in Linux

Postposted on Sat Sep 08, 2012 12:58 am

Unless that copy of Firefox has flash ads running in it, yes that CPU usage seems rather high. The CPU usage could explain why the fans are spun up.

Like bthylafh says, run top to see if that shows you what's soaking up the cycles.

For desktops I typically rely on the BIOS to control the fan speeds, and use lm-sensors to monitor CPU temperature and fan speeds.
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Re: Fan control in Linux

Postposted on Sat Sep 08, 2012 6:24 am

Might also be worth having a look at /proc/cpuinfo to see what your clock speeds are. The load averages might be high because you're in a low power state, though that would make the high fan speed even stranger.
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Re: Fan control in Linux

Postposted on Sat Sep 08, 2012 9:12 am

Firefox is sleeping at ~20% CPU, if system monitor is open, it's also working at 20% CPU. Those are the two offenders. But even one of the is enough to kick the fans.

Code: Select all
cat /proc/cpuinfo | grep MHz
cpu MHz      : 825.000
cpu MHz      : 825.000


So CPU use is being soaked at low power state constantly...

Code: Select all
sensors
acpitz-virtual-0
Adapter: Virtual device
temp1:        +59.0°C  (crit = +99.0°C)

k10temp-pci-00c3
Adapter: PCI adapter
temp1:        +59.1°C  (high = +70.0°C)
                       (crit = +100.0°C, hyst = +97.0°C)

asus-isa-0000
Adapter: ISA adapter
temp1:       +6280.0°C


EDIT: Firefox settled to 3% again... Then again, I opened the response screen with animated gif's and it's 30% again.
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Re: Fan control in Linux

Postposted on Sat Sep 08, 2012 10:48 am

Madman wrote:EDIT: Firefox settled to 3% again... Then again, I opened the response screen with animated gif's and it's 30% again.

It sounds like maybe you're running with the generic frame buffer display driver (no 2D hardware acceleration). 30% for an animated GIF is really excessive even with the CPU downclocked to 800 MHz unless the CPU is being forced to do all the work without assist from the GPU.

Also, are you absolutely sure it's an animated GIF and not a Flash animation? I do frequently get a GIF/JPG ad at the top, but there's sometimes also a Flash ad hiding down at the bottom.
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Re: Fan control in Linux

Postposted on Sat Sep 08, 2012 11:56 am

Have you installed the proprietary AMD video driver? Maybe your computer's new enough that as JBI says it doesn't support your video chip out of the box.

edit: what's the output of lspci?
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Re: Fan control in Linux

Postposted on Sat Sep 08, 2012 12:15 pm

I have the proprietary driver installed, maybe I need to configure it a little bit more?

Code: Select all
lspci
00:00.0 Host bridge: Advanced Micro Devices [AMD] Family 14h Processor Root Complex
00:01.0 VGA compatible controller: Advanced Micro Devices [AMD] nee ATI Wrestler [Radeon HD 6320]
00:01.1 Audio device: Advanced Micro Devices [AMD] nee ATI Wrestler HDMI Audio [Radeon HD 6250/6310]
00:04.0 PCI bridge: Advanced Micro Devices [AMD] Family 14h Processor Root Port
00:11.0 SATA controller: Advanced Micro Devices [AMD] nee ATI SB7x0/SB8x0/SB9x0 SATA Controller [AHCI mode] (rev 40)
00:12.0 USB controller: Advanced Micro Devices [AMD] nee ATI SB7x0/SB8x0/SB9x0 USB OHCI0 Controller
00:12.2 USB controller: Advanced Micro Devices [AMD] nee ATI SB7x0/SB8x0/SB9x0 USB EHCI Controller
00:13.0 USB controller: Advanced Micro Devices [AMD] nee ATI SB7x0/SB8x0/SB9x0 USB OHCI0 Controller
00:13.2 USB controller: Advanced Micro Devices [AMD] nee ATI SB7x0/SB8x0/SB9x0 USB EHCI Controller
00:14.0 SMBus: Advanced Micro Devices [AMD] nee ATI SBx00 SMBus Controller (rev 42)
00:14.1 IDE interface: Advanced Micro Devices [AMD] nee ATI SB7x0/SB8x0/SB9x0 IDE Controller (rev 40)
00:14.2 Audio device: Advanced Micro Devices [AMD] nee ATI SBx00 Azalia (Intel HDA) (rev 40)
00:14.3 ISA bridge: Advanced Micro Devices [AMD] nee ATI SB7x0/SB8x0/SB9x0 LPC host controller (rev 40)
00:14.4 PCI bridge: Advanced Micro Devices [AMD] nee ATI SBx00 PCI to PCI Bridge (rev 40)
00:14.5 USB controller: Advanced Micro Devices [AMD] nee ATI SB7x0/SB8x0/SB9x0 USB OHCI2 Controller
00:15.0 PCI bridge: Advanced Micro Devices [AMD] nee ATI SB700/SB800/SB900 PCI to PCI bridge (PCIE port 0)
00:15.1 PCI bridge: Advanced Micro Devices [AMD] nee ATI SB700/SB800/SB900 PCI to PCI bridge (PCIE port 1)
00:16.0 USB controller: Advanced Micro Devices [AMD] nee ATI SB7x0/SB8x0/SB9x0 USB OHCI0 Controller
00:16.2 USB controller: Advanced Micro Devices [AMD] nee ATI SB7x0/SB8x0/SB9x0 USB EHCI Controller
00:18.0 Host bridge: Advanced Micro Devices [AMD] Family 12h/14h Processor Function 0 (rev 43)
00:18.1 Host bridge: Advanced Micro Devices [AMD] Family 12h/14h Processor Function 1
00:18.2 Host bridge: Advanced Micro Devices [AMD] Family 12h/14h Processor Function 2
00:18.3 Host bridge: Advanced Micro Devices [AMD] Family 12h/14h Processor Function 3
00:18.4 Host bridge: Advanced Micro Devices [AMD] Family 12h/14h Processor Function 4
00:18.5 Host bridge: Advanced Micro Devices [AMD] Family 12h/14h Processor Function 6
00:18.6 Host bridge: Advanced Micro Devices [AMD] Family 12h/14h Processor Function 5
00:18.7 Host bridge: Advanced Micro Devices [AMD] Family 12h/14h Processor Function 7
03:00.0 Ethernet controller: Realtek Semiconductor Co., Ltd. RTL8111/8168B PCI Express Gigabit Ethernet controller (rev 06)
04:00.0 Network controller: Atheros Communications Inc. AR9285 Wireless Network Adapter (PCI-Express) (rev 01)
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Re: Fan control in Linux

Postposted on Sat Sep 08, 2012 1:11 pm

Try removing the proprietary driver just for kicks. Mint's free driver works with Radeon 7000 series, so yours should be supported and will probably work better if you use dual screens.

Tried seeing if a distro's wiki has an entry for your specific laptop? Sometimes Arch has entries that are about as useful as Ubuntu's.
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