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One of the CPU fans on my Compaq Presario laptop running Ubuntu 9.10 seems to have bit the dust. The fan is deep within the case and I intend to replace the laptop in the next 6 months so it's not worth replacing it. I have the laptop on a cooling pad and most of the time the system is fine, CPU temps around 90°-110°F. Occasionally, however, I'm seeing random lockups which I believe is due to the system overheating. How can I configure the system to:

  1. Lower the CPU speed when the temperature reaches a certain level? (I.E. >110°F)
  2. Shutdown the system when the tempature reaches a critical level? (And what would that be? >130°?)
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(Better tag suggestions welcomed) – Josh Mar 7 '10 at 23:24
up vote 1 down vote accepted

Use computertemp:

The last screenshot is exactly what you want (actions upon alarm):

As far as your goals:

(1) Adjusting CPU frequency: (trigger this with a computertemp alarm)

(2) Clean shutdown at upper-limit temp: "shutdown -h now" as your triggered command

You might also need lm-sensors installed (or not, read the computertemp docs).

You can add it to your panel:

Finally, I feel compelled to suggest buying a MacBook or MacBook Pro as your next laptop.

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@Alexander Burke: Believe me, I'd love to buy a MacBook. I use an iMac daily. However this laptop was a hand-me down, and I doubt I'll be buying a new one anytime soon :-( – Josh Mar 11 '10 at 22:33
I was going by "I intend to replace the laptop in the next 6 months". :) If my solution solves your problem, please mark it as the answer! :D – Alexander Burke Mar 12 '10 at 7:52
True. That's my intention at least :-) I haven't tried your suggestion yet but I will soon, and I most certainly will accept it if it works! – Josh Mar 12 '10 at 16:55
I should have mentioned, I intended to buy myself a new laptop for Christmas, and that didn't work out too well! – Josh Mar 12 '10 at 16:56

I dont know for number 1 but for number 2 you can configure this in BIOS.

share|improve this answer
I don't see a shutdown temp in the BIOS. However even if it were there, I want the OS to cleanly shut down or suspend so I don't lose work. – Josh Mar 8 '10 at 12:58

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