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threejay 11-13-2012 03:50 AM

Debian-based distros make laptop run hot, others don't...
Hi everyone,

I've noticed a weird phenomenon: having experimented with a wide variety of distros over the past year or so, it appears that whenever I install and use a Debian-based distro - be it Debian, Ubuntu or other derivatives - my laptop becomes pretty warm to the touch very quickly. However, Red Hat/RPM distros like Fedora and openSUSE are always okay, and my laptop takes a lot longer to warm up whilst running them.

I am currently running Cinnarch (Arch-based), and my laptop does not run hot under other Arch-based distros either.

I have a HP ProBook 4510s, and the area that gets pretty hot first is the hard drive zone. Next comes the CPU - under Debian-based distros the fan picks up almost instantly after booting up and remains in action for much of the time. Not so with other distros.

Each time, I've checked and eliminated any processor-intensive background processes, and I have been running cpupower or cpufreq on all my distros.

Any ideas would be most appreciated!

markush 11-15-2012 03:29 PM

Hello threejay, welcome to LQ,

what do you mean with "I have been running cpupower or cpufreq". I use to set the cpufrequency as low as possible on my laptop. This works very well, if you have cpufrequtils installed you can select a governor (provided that the kernel is compiled in an appropriate manner). We have a Howto at SlackDocs about cpu frequency scaling

You can check the cpufrequeny settings with the following command


threejay 11-15-2012 06:29 PM

Hi Markus!

What I meant was that I am always running my CPU with governor 'ondemand', using either cpufrequtils (on Ubuntu) or cpupower (on my current Cinnarch setup). Using the same governor and always with one of the aforementioned packages installed, I am consistently witnessing the symptoms I've described: Debian/Ubuntu-based distros make my laptop run hot, whilst non-Debian ones do not...



markush 11-15-2012 11:21 PM

I meant that you can check with cpufreq-info what the governor really does.

I've just found that the laptop has a Core 2 Duo T6570 which is Pentium. These processors are known for "you will not need a heating for your office as long as the computer is running".

In fact, it is possbile that the Debian-based distributions have other settings (what ever) than others. There are two ways for you to go: 1. find out what it is or 2. use a distro which is not based on Debian.

If you really want to use Debian or Ubuntu, you'll have to find out what's wrong. You may for example compare the kernels, but since they all patch their kernels this isn't easy.


BTW: install Slackware, you will never need another OS. We have a very knowledgeable and helpful community here at LQ and you will find much information in our new SlackDocs wiki

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