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I have an Acer Aspire One D250-1197. I really better type fast before it overheats again...

For some reason, I'm having a problem with heat on my netbook only when I run Joli OS (Ubuntu 9.10 LTS?). When I leave it idle, with nothing running (other than the regular Joli OS desktop and a couple of doing-nothing terminals), heat slowly builds up to the point where the netbook is burning hot to the touch. I have never had this problem when running Windows 7 Starter (even though it gives me plenty of other headaches). It seems that the fan is spinning, but not fast enough to keep up with the heat buildup.

Is there something wrong with the fan drivers? The computer doesn't seem to recognize that it is overheating. What can I do to solve this problem (other than shut it off or use Windows)? I'm currently on the wrong side of Earth (I mean, on vacation), so I just need a temporary fix, such as a driver I can install. Also, I have to use Linux, because I have to share out the wired connection in hotels wirelessly to the iPhones.

EDIT: I'm switching from Joli OS to a more "proper" and up to date distribution (Xubuntu 13.04). I'll see if it still has the heat problem and try @nod's cpufreq idea.

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Okay, after 10 minutes of browsing superuser my laptop is getting hotter...oh dear, better shut it off now! – Andrew Sun Jun 30 '13 at 14:16
When was the last time you cleaned dust out of the vents? – Ƭᴇcʜιᴇ007 Jun 30 '13 at 16:02
Until you discover what is the problem, my guess a driver issue with either fan speed or the temp probe, I'd stick to another OS. – user88311 Jun 30 '13 at 17:22
@techie007 I didn't have this problem literally a few days ago before installed Joli OS. Besides, it can't be dust. From past experience, when the laptop gets this hot (playing games!), the fan starts getting very noisy, but this time, it just whirrs along thinking nothing is happening. – Andrew Sun Jun 30 '13 at 22:19

This is very possibly related to a process that repeatedly runs at or near 100% CPU-time (quite possible firefox, chrome, or another browser). Flash plugins are notorious for causing the browser process to consume all of the CPU resources.

Run 'top' from the command prompt and watch it for a minute or two. Look for a process that is eating up CPU-time. If/when you find one, exit out and kill the process. Some methods for killing a process include 'killall {process name}' (e.g. killall firefox-bin), xkill (and click on the process to be killed), or 'kill -9 {pid}'. If you determine that it is the browser, consider using a different browser, updating the system (flash is more stable now than it was when Ubuntu 9 came about), or disabling flash.

You can also consider reducing the processor speed with the cpufreq-tools, e.g.

cpufreq-selector -g powersave

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Thanks, but I know that the processor is not running at 100%. It gets burning hot after a few hours of idle time. When it is running at 100%, it would get burning hot in a much shorter time. However, I like the cpufreq idea. – Andrew Sun Jul 1 '13 at 3:32

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