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Thread: HOWTO: CPU Frequency Scaling w/ Kernel Module

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
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    U.S.
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    110
    Distro
    Ubuntu 6.10 Edgy

    Post HOWTO: CPU Frequency Scaling w/ Kernel Module

    I thought I would write a little howto on how to get cpu frequency scaling to work directly with the kernel modules. These modules are generally more efficient for performance computing and battery life.

    Prerequisites
    kernel >= 2.6.9

    Step 1: Enable BIOS Support
    Enter your BIOS at boot and make sure Cool'n'Quiet (AMD) or SpeedStep (Intel) is enable for you CPU. Some BIOS may not have option at all. If that is the case it is probably enabled by default. Other BIOS may have the option but it is listed as another name altogether. If that is the case check your BIOS manual for more info.

    Step 2: Remove Userspace Scaling Software
    powernowd
    Code:
    sudo apt-get remove powernowd
    cpudyn
    Code:
    sudo apt-get remove cpudyn
    Step 3: Install CPU Module
    Identify your cpu type by runnig the command
    Code:
    cat /proc/cpuinfo
    You can also Check the following links
    AMD CPU Chart - http://www.tomshardware.com/2005/11/...05/page20.html
    Intel CPU Chart - http://www.tomshardware.com/2005/11/...05/page21.html

    AMD Sempron/Athlon/MP ( K7 )
    Socket Types: A, Slot A
    Code:
    sudo modprobe powernow-k7
    AMD Duron/Sempron/Athlon/Opteron 64 ( K8 )
    Socket Types: 754, 939, 940, S1 ( 638 ), AM2 ( 940 ), F ( 1207 )
    Code:
    sudo modprobe powernow-k8
    Intel Core Duo
    Code:
    sudo modprobe speedstep-centrino
    Intel Pentium M
    Code:
    sudo modprobe speedstep-centrino
    Others (Unknown)
    I'm not entirely sure which cpus are supported using this module. If your cpu doesn't work with one of the above methods try this one.
    Code:
    sudo modprobe acpi-cpufreq
    Step 4: Scaling Modules
    Code:
    sudo modprobe cpufreq_conservative
    sudo modprobe cpufreq_ondemand
    sudo modprobe cpufreq_powersave
    sudo modprobe cpufreq_stats
    sudo modprobe cpufreq_userspace
    Step 5: Testing/Configuration
    Show Available Governors
    Code:
    cat /sys/devices/system/cpu/cpu0/cpufreq/scaling_available_governors
    You should see output similar to
    Code:
    powersave conservative ondemand performance
    conservative
    Description: CPU frequency is scaled based on load in incremental steps up and down.
    Code:
    sudo -s
    echo conservative > /sys/devices/system/cpu/cpu0/cpufreq/scaling_governor
    Advanced Configuration Options
    Code:
    cd /sys/devices/system/cpu/cpu0/cpufreq/conservative
    ondemand
    Description: CPU frequency is scaled based on load.
    Code:
    sudo -s
    echo ondemand > /sys/devices/system/cpu/cpu0/cpufreq/scaling_governor
    Advanced Configuration Options
    Code:
    cd /sys/devices/system/cpu/cpu0/cpufreq/ondemand
    performance
    Description: CPU only runs at max frequency regardless of load.
    Configuration Dir: N/A
    Code:
    sudo -s
    echo performance > /sys/devices/system/cpu/cpu0/cpufreq/scaling_governor
    powersave
    Description: CPU only runs at min frequency regardless of load.
    Configuration Dir: N/A
    Code:
    sudo -s
    echo powersave > /sys/devices/system/cpu/cpu0/cpufreq/scaling_governor
    Step 6: Load Modules at Boot
    Add the following lines to the end of /etc/modules
    Code:
    cpufreq_conservative
    cpufreq_ondemand
    cpufreq_powersave
    cpufreq_stats
    cpufreq_userspace
    [Module from Step 3]
    Step 7: Configure Modules at Boot
    This step needs to be done in order for the modules to retain your settings.
    Make sure you have sysfsutils installed
    Code:
    sudo apt-get install sysfsutils
    Then add the following lines to /etc/sysfs.conf
    Code:
    devices/system/cpu/cpu0/cpufreq/scaling_governor=ondemand
    Where ondemand can be changed to another governor type (i.e. conservative, powersave, etc.). You can also add other configuration options that are specific to the governor selected.

    Useful Links
    http://ubuntu.wordpress.com/2005/11/...uency-scaling/
    http://martin.ankerl.org/category/linux/
    http://gentoo-wiki.com/HOWTO_Undervolt_a_Pentium_M_CPU
    http://wejp.k.vu/projects/howto_cnq_athlon_64_x2/
    Last edited by pharcyde; September 9th, 2006 at 12:55 AM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
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    30

    Re: HOWTO: CPU Frequency Scaling w/ Kernel Module

    Hi, I was trying to follow your "How To" because, since yesterday, the cpu governors stoped working for me and I get always the maximum frequency, regardless of the load.
    When I got to step 4, however, I got this error:

    FATAL: Error inserting speedstep_centrino (/lib/modules/2.6.15-26-386/kernel/arch/i386/kernel/cpu/cpufreq/speedstep-centrino.ko): Device or resource busy

    I have no idea what I am doing wrong and I would apreciate any help.
    Thanx a lot
    gumbeto

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Beans
    1,350

    Re: HOWTO: CPU Frequency Scaling w/ Kernel Module

    Step 4) Intel CPU Module
    Code:

    sudo modprobe speedstep-centrino
    I have an Intel CPU, but it uses acpi_cpufreq instead of speedstep-centrino. I am not sure if it is important.
    ASUS K53S Ubuntu 14.04 64-bit
    ASUS U36jc, i5-480M, 2.66GHz, 4Gb, nVidia Optimus Ubuntu 14.04 64-bit
    HP DV6-2113sa, AMD Turion™ II M620, 4Gb, ATI Radeon™ HD 4530 Ubuntu 14.04 64-bit
    ASUS 1015PX Netbook Lubuntu 14.04

  4. #4
    Join Date
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    Re: HOWTO: CPU Frequency Scaling w/ Kernel Module

    do u know how can I check if my cpu is like yours in that aspect?
    thanks

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Beans
    30

    Re: HOWTO: CPU Frequency Scaling w/ Kernel Module

    do u know how can I check if my cpu is like yours in that aspect?
    thanks

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Germany
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    Hidden!
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    Edgy Eft Testing

    Re: HOWTO: CPU Frequency Scaling w/ Kernel Module

    Athlon user should use powernow-k7
    Athlon 64 users powernow-k8

    Doesn't work for me tho. Probably because I have a Mobile CPU on an old desktop board

    Code:
    FATAL: Error inserting powernow_k7 (/lib/modules/2.6.15-26-k7/kernel/arch/i386/kernel/cpu/cpufreq/powernow-k7.ko): No such device
    Frequency scaling worked under Windoze.

  7. #7
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    Ubuntu 6.10 Edgy

    Re: HOWTO: CPU Frequency Scaling w/ Kernel Module

    Thanks for replies guys. I've updated the how-to with better information related to different devices. I only have a AMD64 k8 and Intel Pentium M Centrino. These two work for me with the methods I've outlined here in Breezy 32bit and 6.06 64bit installs. I will try to update it with more information related to other AMD and Intel chips once I have more info from others.
    Last edited by pharcyde; September 2nd, 2006 at 11:07 PM.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
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    Re: HOWTO: CPU Frequency Scaling w/ Kernel Module

    hi again. In my case, the contents of /proc/cpuinfo is the following:

    Code:
    gumbeto@gumbeto-laptop:/lib/modules/2.6.15-26-386/kernel/arch/i386/kernel/cpu/cpufreq$ cat /proc/cpuinfo
    processor       : 0
    vendor_id       : GenuineIntel
    cpu family      : 6
    model           : 13
    model name      : Intel(R) Pentium(R) M processor 2.00GHz
    stepping        : 8
    cpu MHz         : 798.116
    cache size      : 2048 KB
    fdiv_bug        : no
    hlt_bug         : no
    f00f_bug        : no
    coma_bug        : no
    fpu             : yes
    fpu_exception   : yes
    cpuid level     : 2
    wp              : yes
    flags           : fpu vme de pse tsc msr pae mce cx8 sep mtrr pge mca cmov pat clflush dts acpi mmx fxsr sse sse2 ss tm pbe est tm2
    bogomips        : 1598.35
    As I said, the module speedstep-centrino didn't work for me so I tried

    Code:
    sudo modprobe acpi-cpufreq
    It didn't complain and I continued with the tutorial but unfortunatly it didn't solve my problem. I think I'll post my problem in a separate thread when I have time, after searching for any related posts.
    Anyway, thanks for the tutorial and for the replies

    Gumbeto

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
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    5

    Re: HOWTO: CPU Frequency Scaling w/ Kernel Module

    Hi friends,
    for my centrino i use this utility on winxp
    http://www.pbus-167.com/, to control not only cpu multipler, but also CPU multipler, and bus of ati card. =D> =D>

    and i find this for linux
    http://gentoo-wiki.com/HOWTO_Undervolt_a_Pentium_M_CPU

    of course ... i'm very noobye....of linux, so i'm waiting for your comments.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
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    Finland
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    Distro
    Ubuntu 10.04 Lucid Lynx

    Re: HOWTO: CPU Frequency Scaling w/ Kernel Module

    I have Asus K8V-MX mobo with Sempron 2600+ which does support Cool 'n Quiet in Windows, but apparently it doesn't work well with Powernowd in Linux.

    I tried modprobe powernow-k8, modprobe acpi-cpufreq and even modprobe powernow-k7 but they all give the same error:
    Code:
    # modprobe powernow-k8
    FATAL: Error inserting powernow_k8 (/lib/modules/2.6.15-26-k7/kernel/arch/i386/kernel/cpu/cpufreq/powernow-k8.ko): No such device
    Guess I'm out of luck here, or what?

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