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Thread: Monitoring CPU temp(s) - Is it worth it?

  1. #1
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    Monitoring CPU temp(s) - Is it worth it?

    I recently built myself a new machine - and am slowly setting it up to take over as my 'go to' box. I recently (with much assistance from vindsl and paramvir) made a strong start on a Conky setup that does most of what I wanted for keeping an eye on my system - but have yet to add in CPU temperature monitoring.

    Research suggested that acpi -t or lm-sensors were the most likely source of the needed input, but this has been unsuccessful in practice. Trying sensor-detect failed to find anything, and acpi -t gives no information at all (no terminal output).

    Digging deeper I located a 'newer' version of sensor-detect, which informs me that I need a driver (nct6775) not found on my system. On accessing that driver I find that it appears to need to be compiled into the kernel. So - I am left with several questions, and uninformed speculation

    1. Is this correct - must it be compiled in to be usable?

    2. If it must be, will the changes to the kernel between 2.6.33.5 (the version the driver was apparently developed for) and the 3.8.0.35 I am running now cause any problems?

    3. Apparently it was 'upstreamed' - but has as yet not made it into our kernel. Is it likely to appear (or DOES it appear!) in the 3.14.x.xx or whatever is coming in Trusty? Will I need to nothing but wait?

    4. If I don't wait, does it mean (as seems logical) that I would need to recompile the kernel for each received update until (if ever) this driver makes it in?

    5. How easy is it to compile a kernel? And - how likely am I to bork the system trying? Is it 'safer' to access the kernel from another distro on the same machine for changes, then rebooting to the new result? Should I leave it alone?

    6. Is there some other way to get this done?

    I hope this is the right place to ask these questions - if not I hope a moderator can relocate appropriately! Thanks in advance to anyone who can answer any of the above....or steer me in a better direction!
    |Intel E6550 2.33 | Intel mb/gfx/snd | 4 Gb RAM | Seagate 500Gb | Magnasonic 19" | Ubuntu 12.04 | AMD A10 5800K 3.8GHz / ATI gfx| Asus A88X-Pro mb/snd | 8 Gb RAM | Corsair Force 128 GB SSD | Seagate 3+2TB | USB 2TB | Sony 40" | Ubuntu 12.04 / 14.04 |

  2. #2
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    Re: Monitoring CPU temp(s) - Is it worth it?

    TL;DR - skimmed a few parts, but definitely didn't read the entire post.

    I don't bother monitoring CPU temps. Why not?
    * all modern CPUs have thermal protection built-in; they will protect themselves. I've never seen that protection used.
    * No overclocking here.
    * Use thermal grease properly during system builds
    The BIOS shows CPU temps and whenever I've looked (like yesterday), the machines are usually 20 degC below where the thermal alarm alarms are in the BIOS.

    Rebuilding a kernel is something everyone should do a few times. In the 1990s, I built kernels all-the-time. These days I avoid it and any software or driver that requires rebuilding will not be purchased. It simply isn't worth my time anymore.

    So ... if you can't get the CPU temps - I wouldn't bother. Actually, I haven't bothered.

  3. #3
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    Re: Monitoring CPU temp(s) - Is it worth it?

    Thanks for the input. I agree that one must do a compile SOMETIME - but in my case it hasn't been since 1993 that I attempted such a thing. I had to add ATI support to TAMU (Texas A&M University version of Linux) so as to run Motif in glorious colour! Come to think of it - the result was quite a fast machine - that 386 - I set up a couple of incoming phone lines and 3 of us were using it for compiling and testing code from our 'C' course!

    Still hoping that someone might let me know if it can be achieved, because this machine has frequently shut down - probably, but not certainly, due to the thermal protection you mention. I have it relocated now, and apparently running much cooler - but knowing the problem was approaching would still be useful. I lost a few things from being 'in' the files when shutdown occurred, and you can't check if it was heat-related when it IS shutdown - so I would prefer to get the monitoring to work!

    On with the research...
    |Intel E6550 2.33 | Intel mb/gfx/snd | 4 Gb RAM | Seagate 500Gb | Magnasonic 19" | Ubuntu 12.04 | AMD A10 5800K 3.8GHz / ATI gfx| Asus A88X-Pro mb/snd | 8 Gb RAM | Corsair Force 128 GB SSD | Seagate 3+2TB | USB 2TB | Sony 40" | Ubuntu 12.04 / 14.04 |

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    Re: Monitoring CPU temp(s) - Is it worth it?

    Rather than asking if it's doable, it would have been much faster for you to actually try to do it...
    Code:
    cd ~/
    git clone https://github.com/groeck/nct6775.git
    cd nct6775
    make
    sudo make install
    sudo depmod -a
    sudo modprobe -v nct6775

  5. #5
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    Re: Monitoring CPU temp(s) - Is it worth it?

    I would be happy to 'just do it' - but I still suspect there is a bit more to it than that. For one thing, I don't have a programming environment set up on this system - and unless it has changed, it is not in place by default. Perhaps I just asked my questions in the wrong area, as I would still prefer to have them answered before diving in - especially if it is likely to appear (or HAS appeared) in later kernels. After all, my expertise was in 680x0 assembly, not C++ on Intel style systems...

    How does one get a moderator to move a thread? I didn't study the contents here before posting - and I guess I should have

    Thanks anyway.
    Last edited by freebird54; March 1st, 2014 at 02:23 AM. Reason: typos
    |Intel E6550 2.33 | Intel mb/gfx/snd | 4 Gb RAM | Seagate 500Gb | Magnasonic 19" | Ubuntu 12.04 | AMD A10 5800K 3.8GHz / ATI gfx| Asus A88X-Pro mb/snd | 8 Gb RAM | Corsair Force 128 GB SSD | Seagate 3+2TB | USB 2TB | Sony 40" | Ubuntu 12.04 / 14.04 |

  6. #6
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    Re: Monitoring CPU temp(s) - Is it worth it?

    You're making it too difficult... Programming environment? If you have the build-essential package and the linux-headers package corresponding to your kernel, that's all you should need. (If it works, then you'll want to use dkms to install it so you don't have to manually rebuild every time the kernel is updated.)

    Just for clarity, I'll attempt to answer your questions
    1. Is this correct - must it be compiled in to be usable?
    If it's not built into the kernel, then yes.

    2. If it must be, will the changes to the kernel between 2.6.33.5 (the version the driver was apparently developed for) and the 3.8.0.35 I am running now cause any problems?
    Nothing's guaranteed, but I highly doubt it.

    3. Apparently it was 'upstreamed' - but has as yet not made it into our kernel. Is it likely to appear in the 3.14.x.xx or whatever is coming in Trusty? Will I need to nothing but wait
    You don't tell us exactly what chip you have (the nct6775 module supports a few). According to the lm-sensors wiki, kernel >= 3.12 supports them all. http://www.lm-sensors.org/wiki/Devices

    4. If I don't wait, does it mean (as seems logical) that I would need to recompile the kernel for each received update until (if ever) this driver makes it in?
    5. How easy is it to compile a kernel? And - how likely am I to bork the system trying? Is it 'safer' to access the kernel from another distro on the same machine for changes, then rebooting to the new result? Should I leave it alone?
    Again, use dkms if you want the module automatically rebuilt for newer/updated kernels. You don't have to compile the whole kernel either, just the module (it literally took about 2 seconds on my modest system).

    6. Is there some other way to get this done?
    Either build the module yourself or get a newer kernel where it's built in. Those are your options.

  7. #7
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    Re: Monitoring CPU temp(s) - Is it worth it?

    Thread moved to General Help.

  8. #8
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    Re: Monitoring CPU temp(s) - Is it worth it?

    Thanks Temüjin - that answers everything I needed to make a sensible choice (for me). Given time to try it, will probably try the compile - but in the meantime I can pop Trusty on another partition and try there - and if it works I can put off the compile

    I gather that if you compile the module correctly for the version, then you can bind it in to subsequent updates - so that clears up the confusion about whether you needed to compile the whole kernel, or just find a bindable module somewhere. Time I learned that!

    Thanks again.
    |Intel E6550 2.33 | Intel mb/gfx/snd | 4 Gb RAM | Seagate 500Gb | Magnasonic 19" | Ubuntu 12.04 | AMD A10 5800K 3.8GHz / ATI gfx| Asus A88X-Pro mb/snd | 8 Gb RAM | Corsair Force 128 GB SSD | Seagate 3+2TB | USB 2TB | Sony 40" | Ubuntu 12.04 / 14.04 |

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