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I'm trying to monitor the temperature of my GPUs (multiple ATI 5970) in my computation cluster. Problem is that the aticonfig tool does not work in headless mode

# /usr/bin/aticonfig --od-gettemperature
No protocol specified
ERROR - X needs to be running to perform ATI Overdrive(TM) commands

and even worse if I try to run aticonfig with my monitoring user (munin) it will ask to be executed as root. Is there a simple way to read the temperature of the GPUs without having to resort to X?

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up vote 7 down vote accepted

export DISPLAY=:0
aticonfig --odgt --adapter=0
aticonfig --odgt --adapter=1

Root permissions may be necessary, try it out.

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Explain what the command and arguments do? – Lekensteyn May 13 '11 at 11:49
aticonfig --help lists the available options. For --odgt aka --od-gettemperature it states Returns the temperature reported by any thermal sensors available on the adapter. I didn't need export DISPLAY=:0 nor superuser privileges YMMV. +1 thanks =) – earcam Nov 3 '12 at 1:33
As a little extra: to get the temperature of all adapters at once just use DISPLAY=:0 aticonfig --adapter=all --odgt. That will get all the adapters attached to X instance 0. – cdecker Feb 14 '13 at 10:05

I've run into a similar problem trying to run aticonfig as user www-data for Cacti.

By doing a visudo and adding the following to the sudoers file. (You will want to change beast to your hostname and www-data to munin in your case.)

www-data        beast = NOPASSWD: /usr/bin/aticonfig

With this I've been able to run

sudo /usr/bin/aticonfig

as user www-data however I'm still running into some issue with Cacti.

Hope this helps.

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