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  • zhegu 7:41 pm on January 11, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Battery, CPU, Fedora, Graphic card, Heating, Intel, Laptop, , Overheat, Radeon, Sony VAIO, Temperature   

    fedora linux overheat problem on sony vaio 

    I have a Sony VAIO S laptop, with Intel i7 CPU and Radeon Graphics. I bought this pretty in the summer of 2012 when I was on a very well-paid internship at @WalmartLabs, CA. At the time I just started the job and was unsatisfied with a given MacBook Pro. My main complaint was the Apple keyboard places the function key at the left bottom corner where the control button usually is. This posts major problem for me since I’m a heavy command-line and vim user, all the muscle memory has already been wired in my both hands. And if you are about to type more than 1000 lines of code, it’s not so pleasant to have to hustle with the typing habit first.

    So I bought a Sony VAIO, and loaded it with Fedora 17. The installation goes through nice and smooth like a charm. However, once I start typing or browsing the web for a few minutes, the fan starts blowing like a turbine and my wrists just can’t even bear the heat on the surface.

    Measure the Temperature

    I notice that it’s not totally my fan’s fault. It’s running up and down with varied speed, responding to hardware heating well enough. The temperature sensor tool that I use is lm_sensors. It gives a temperature reading for my CPU, graphic card and motherboard.

    $ sudo yum install lm_sensors   # Install lm_sensors package
    $ sensors-detect                # Detect available sensors
    $ sensors                       # Get sensor readings

    With light web browsing on Google Chrome, I got

    $ sensors
    Adapter: Virtual device
    temp1: +67.0°C (crit = +97.0°C)
    radeon-pci-0100   # Radeon graphics card
    Adapter: PCI adapter
    temp1: +68.0°C (crit = +100.0°C)
    coretemp-isa-0000   # CPU
    Adapter: ISA adapter
    Physical id 0:+67.0°C (high = +86.0°C, crit = +100.0°C)
    Core 0: +68.0° (high = +86.0°C, crit = +100.0°C)
    Core 1: +66.0°C (high = +86.0°C, crit = +100.0°C)

    68°C is very very hot. Resting on your hands on the keyboard feels like grilling your wrists.

    Turn off the Graphics Card

    My first suspect to the overheating issue is the graphics card. Since Radeon’s graphics cards have long been known for poor linux support and hard to tame under the open source drivers, I am thinking about simply turning off the Radoen graphics card module from the Linux kernel. If it’s the graphics card that causes the heating on mother board, then I should see some dropping of temperature after disabling it.

    Turning off the graphic card can be done in linux with the following shell commands:

    $ modprobe radeon
    $ chown -R $USER:$USER /sys/kernel/debug
    # Turn off the Radeon graphics card
    $ echo OFF > /sys/kernel/debug/vgaswitcheroo/switch

    Now the Radeon graphic card is turned off. It can be verified as:

    $ cat /sys/kernel/debug/vgaswitcheroo/switch
    # External Graphics card is turned off
    0:DIS: :<strong>Off</strong>:0000:01:00.0     
    # Intel graphics is on

    I shut down the computer, let it sit for a while to cool down to room temperature, and reboot again. Immediately after reboot I run the above commands to turn off the graphic card. I immediately notice the fan speed starts to wind down, and after some Chrome web browsing, here is a sample sensor reading:

    $ sensors
    Adapter: Virtual device
    temp1: +47.0°C (crit = +97.0°C)
    Adapter: PCI adapter
    temp1: -128.0°C  # Negative, because it's turned off!
    Adapter: ISA adapter
    Physical id 0: +50.0°C (high = +86.0°C, crit = +100.0°C)
    Core 0: +48.0°C (high = +86.0°C, crit = +100.0°C)
    Core 1: +50.0°C (high = +86.0°C, crit = +100.0°C)

    It’s about 25% reduction on temperature! So the graphic card is really contributing to the overheating. Now I still notice some warming on the surface of the keyboard, but at least it’s not like the surface of the Sahara Desert anymore. Fan is tamed, and the battery is not drained as fast before. Good start.


    Whatever we have achieved above doesn’t repeat after reboot. Before finding a way to further reduce the temperature, I find turning off the graphic card useful enough to automate this task at Fedora startup. Anyway I would always boot into Windows when I need to stream video on Hulu or Youtube. So here is how you do it: put the corresponding set of shell commands (which turns off the graphics card, as listed in the previous section) into /etc/rc.local, which is a system service that will automatically run the shell commands it contains at boot time. Remember to make the rc.local file executable afterwards.

    modprobe radeon
    echo OFF > /sys/kernel/debug/vgaswitcheroo/switch

    The next step is to enable the rc.local service. If you already have /etc/systemd/system/rc-local.service, enable and start it by

    $ sudo systemctl enable rc-local.service
    $ sudo systemctl start rc-local.service
    # Check that rc.local service is indeed enabled and active
    $ sudo systemctl status rc-local.service 
    rc-local.service - /etc/rc.local Compatibility
    Loaded: loaded (/etc/systemd/system/rc-local.service; enabled)
    Active: active (exited) since XXX; XXX ago

    If you don’t have /etc/systemd/system/rc-local.service, here is a good copy of it from my own Fedora, use it at your own risk 🙂

    #  This file is part of systemd.
    #  systemd is free software; you can redistribute it and/or modify it
    #  under the terms of the GNU General Public License as published by
    #  the Free Software Foundation; either version 2 of the License, or
    #  (at your option) any later version.
    Description=/etc/rc.local Compatibility
    ExecStart=/etc/rc.local start

    -Sam Zhao

    This solution also seems to prolong the battery life of my laptop quite significantly, from average 2 hours before to 4.5 hours now with web browsing and youtubing. Sweet.

    • sebastian leste 9:59 am on June 23, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      Thanks a Great Job

    • Sello Mathakhoe 6:46 pm on February 27, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      what some great info on your blog about fedora linux overheat problem and I am glad that I got a solution for my laptop. At this time I am using Msi motherboard. Check out this https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A7miJqWSYRs ,

      Surely Visiting your blog helped me, Awesome stuff!

      Best Regards

    • bestseoservicereview 1:34 pm on March 20, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      This site has got all that I was looking for, thanks, I will bookmark this.Thanks for your helpfull tips,Cheers!!

    • Gokul 9:17 am on March 7, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      I’ve the same overheating and battery problem with my sony vaio e series having Fedora21 installed in it.
      When i try to execute the steps that you’ve mentioned I’m getting the following error.

      [gokul@localhost ~]$ sudo echo OFF > /sys/kernel/debug/vgaswitcheroo/switch
      bash: /sys/kernel/debug/vgaswitcheroo/switch: No such file or directory
      [gokul@localhost ~]$

      My graphics card detail follows,
      [gokul@localhost ~]$ lspci | grep VGA
      01:00.0 VGA compatible controller: Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. [AMD/ATI] Thames [Radeon HD 7550M/7570M/7650M]
      [gokul@localhost ~]$

      Please help me to fix this.. Thanks in advance..

    • service komputer di jakarta 2:52 am on April 9, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      An intriguing discussion is definitely worth comment. I believe that you ought to publish more about this issue, it may not be a taboo subject but typically people do not speak about such issues. To the next! All the best!!

  • zhegu 9:25 pm on June 16, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Fedora, Yum   

    Yum lock problem 

    If you get an error like this in Fedora while trying to upgrade using yum:

    “Existing lock /var/run/yum.pid:XXX…”

    All you have to do is to remove the yum.pid file located under /var/run/. You will need root previllege to do that.

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