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Thread: HOWTO: Install and configure i8kmon for configurable automatic fan speed control

  1. #1
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    HOWTO: Install and configure i8kmon for configurable automatic fan speed control

    Here is how to install i8kmon and set it up with sane settings for a XPS M1330:

    1.
    Code:
    sudo apt-get install i8kutils
    2. Add "i8k" on a new line in /etc/modules:
    Code:
    sudo gedit /etc/modules
    3. Add "options i8k force=1" on a new line in /etc/modprobe.d/options
    Code:
    sudo gedit /etc/modprobe.d/options
    4. Here, either restart your computer or run:
    Code:
    sudo modprobe i8k force=1
    5. Open up a new file called /etc/i8kmon:
    Code:
    sudo gedit /etc/i8mon
    And save the following to it:
    Code:
    # Run as daemon, override with --daemon option
    set config(daemon)      0
    
    # Automatic fan control, override with --auto option
    set config(auto)        1
    
    # Report status on stdout, override with --verbose option
    set config(verbose)	1
    
    # Status check timeout (seconds), override with --timeout option
    set config(timeout)	1
    
    # Temperature thresholds: {fan_speeds low_ac high_ac low_batt high_batt}
    set config(0)   {{-1 0}  -1  55  -1  55}
    set config(1)   {{-1 1}  55  70  55  70}
    set config(3)   {{-1 2}  70  128  70  128}
    
    # For computer with 2 fans, use a variant of this instead:
    # Temperature thresholds: {fan_speeds low_ac high_ac low_batt high_batt}
    # set config(0)	{{-1 0}  -1  52  -1  65}
    # set config(1)	{{-1 1}  41  66  55  75}
    # set config(2)	{{-1 1}  55  80  65  85}
    # set config(3)	{{-1 2}  70 128  75 128}
    
    # end of file
    (based on http://www.cvjb.de/comp/linux/debian/i8kmon but adapted for the one-fan-only XPS M1330)

    Now you can run "i8kmon" from a terminal to see (and hear) how it adjusts your fan speed. Or you can add it to the gnome panel (for autostart upon login as well as easy monitoring) by the following instructions:
    1.
    Code:
    sudo apt-get install gnome-swallow-applet
    2. Add the swallow applet to the gnome panel by right-clicking on the latter and choosing Add to panel
    3. Enter "i8kmon" for Program name and leave the second field blank

    Alternatively, you can have i8kmon autostart without the applet part by adding "i8kmon --daemon" as an entry to your sessions autostart list (in System -> Settings -> Sessions)

    Note: Even though i8kmon seems to do it's job very well, erratic fan behavior can be experienced due to the built-in fan control methods of Dell's laptops. I am trying to get more advice on how to solve that matter in a parallell thread: http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?p=5275392 Informative replies in that thread are very welcome!

  2. #2
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    Ubuntu 10.04 Lucid Lynx

    Re: HOWTO: Install and configure i8kmon for configurable automatic fan speed control

    Unfortunately this doesn't work on the M1530, here's the dmesg output:

    Code:
    dmesg | grep i8k
    
    [   27.713816] i8k: not running on a supported Dell system.
    [   27.713819] i8k: vendor=Dell Inc., model=XPS M1530                       , version=A08
    [   27.714137] i8k: unable to get SMM BIOS version
    The sensors applet will pickup i8k when configured as a daemon, and successfully report the CPU Temp and FAN speed.

  3. #3
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    Re: HOWTO: Install and configure i8kmon for configurable automatic fan speed control

    Quote Originally Posted by sc00ter View Post
    Unfortunately this doesn't work on the M1530, here's the dmesg output:

    Code:
    dmesg | grep i8k
    
    [   27.713816] i8k: not running on a supported Dell system.
    [   27.713819] i8k: vendor=Dell Inc., model=XPS M1530                       , version=A08
    [   27.714137] i8k: unable to get SMM BIOS version
    The sensors applet will pickup i8k when configured as a daemon, and successfully report the CPU Temp and FAN speed.
    I get the same output - no worries!
    And since sensors applet is picking up the scent everything seems ok.

  4. #4
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    Re: HOWTO: Install and configure i8kmon for configurable automatic fan speed control

    I followed all the steps but for some reason doing this does not work. The fan will not behave according /etc/i8kmon. I am using a dell inspiron 1420 with 8.04 2.6.24-20-generic.

    in my /etc/i8kmon i defined these settings. the rest of the file is the same as the above.
    Code:
    set config(0)	{{-1 0}  -1  50  -1  65}
    set config(1)	{{-1 1}  40  60  55  75}
    set config(2)	{{-1 2}  50  70  65  85}
    set config(3)	{{-1 2}  75 128  75 128}
    I have two fans, one that is controllable and the other is on at a fix speed all the time (uncontrollable).
    Code:
    mrynit@dell-desktop:~$ i8kfan 
    -1 0
    mrynit@dell-desktop:~$ i8kfan - 2
    -1 2
    mrynit@dell-desktop:~$ cat /proc/i8k 
    1.0 A09 HS12GF1 40 -22 2 27660 119940 -1 -22
    mrynit@dell-desktop:~$ i8kctl 
    1.0 (null) HS12GF1 40 -1 2 27660 119940 0 -1

    sensors-applet 2.2.1

    i took the screen shot at a different time so that is why the temps are different from the terminal output.

    From the above I know that the right fan is the controllable fan. I configured the temp settings to work with it. I got the info from here http://people.debian.org/~dz/i8k/00-README, also the man page for i8kmon has the same info.

  5. #5
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    Re: HOWTO: Install and configure i8kmon for configurable automatic fan speed control

    how would I configure this to make my fan run at medium speed all the time?
    Last edited by Ryan_macy; August 13th, 2008 at 10:20 PM.

  6. #6
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    Re: HOWTO: Install and configure i8kmon for configurable automatic fan speed control

    Quote Originally Posted by Ryan_macy View Post
    how would I configure this to make my fan run at medium speed all the time?
    I would assume just setting the fan to 1 in config(0)

    Code:
    set config(0)	{{-1 1}  -1  50  -1  65}
    Last edited by mrynit; August 14th, 2008 at 03:34 AM.

  7. #7
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    Re: HOWTO: Install and configure i8kmon for configurable automatic fan speed control

    Quote Originally Posted by Ryan_macy View Post
    how would I configure this to make my fan run at medium speed all the time?
    You do understand that this could cause overheating with possibly malfunctioning and broken hardware as a consequence?

  8. #8
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    Re: HOWTO: Install and configure i8kmon for configurable automatic fan speed control

    Quote Originally Posted by motin View Post
    You do understand that this could cause overheating with possibly malfunctioning and broken hardware as a consequence?
    I doubt it.

  9. #9
    Join Date
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    Re: HOWTO: Install and configure i8kmon for configurable automatic fan speed control

    Thanks for saving me hours of figuring out how to silence this machine. You should edit this post to include the 1000->200 timer hack if not the machine whizzes almost every 2-3 seconds

  10. #10
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    Re: HOWTO: Install and configure i8kmon for configurable automatic fan speed control

    Hello! I'm running a xps 1530 and I did all the things u wrote and I think it had some effect on my computer. After I applied the settings it seems as the fans has a higher threshold than before.

    And I have some questions..
    1. What does the two blank buttons do in "i8kmon"?
    2.What happens if I dont run i8kmon, are the fan settings still applied or are they now running "as Dell want them to"?
    3. I would like to have a GPU threshold of 65 degress celsius, and a CPU threshold of 50 degrees how would I apply those settings?

    Is there a way to remove these settings and get back to where I was to compare?

    Thanks you guys!

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