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Old 10-10-2004, 03:05 PM   #1
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Linux and Laptop fan

I'm running Knopppix on my Dell Latitude D600 and I notice that the cooling fan runs a lot more when in Linux than when the machine is booted into Win XP (it's a dual boot). Does this have to do with the lack of power management software? When I run TOP everything looks pretty peaceful (there isn't a process using very much of the system) but the fan runs anyway. Under Windows it quiets down to almost stopped when the machine is inactive. Is power management softare the difference? Or does Linux just use more of the processor even when idle? Should I be concerned at all?

Update - upon further review I notice this issue seems more pronounced when I use Firefox, which I downloaded to use instead of the native Mozilla. Could it be that Firefox has a memory leak? If I restart the machine and just leave it sitting with Mozilla Thunderbird open the fan doesn't seem to spin any faster than it would under Windows.

Last edited by jeopardyracing; 10-10-2004 at 03:29 PM.
Old 10-10-2004, 03:41 PM   #2
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I've seen a lot of power management issues with laptops while using Linux, personally.. It does seem that it takes a fair bit of tweaking to make your laptop run longer..

Since Knoppix is a direct-off CD distro, it may be advisable to look in the Knoppix forum about this, since I am pretty clueless about the ability to tweak hardware settings with that distro.
Old 10-10-2004, 03:52 PM   #3
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I have an HP notebook and it also had power management disabled (acpi=ht). The problem was that enabling ACPI would cause the machine to hang at boot. The fix (after some googling) was to add the option noapic or nolapic to the kernel command line and then use acpi=on. It seems that the BIOS had some conflict between use of the APIC and use of ACPI. I am not sure of the details however my machine now power manages perfectly and the fan is often off completely.
Old 10-10-2004, 04:42 PM   #4
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Is it likely that the package I need is already installed or that I need to search for one?

Also, it looks like entry such as acpi=on is made to a configuration file rather than simply made at the command line, is that correct? If so, which configuration file did you modify (recognizing that it might not be the same on a Knoppix / Debian system.)

Last edited by jeopardyracing; 10-10-2004 at 05:01 PM.
Old 10-10-2004, 10:14 PM   #5
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You didn't say if you have Knoppix installed to HD or you are running the live version. I know there is a list of Knoppix "cheat codes" that can be passed at boot time, and noacpi or acpi=off is in there I think. Try searching for the complete list of codes,


Old 10-11-2004, 03:56 AM   #6
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This is interesting. I've had similar issues.
I got a tutorial on solving the problem I have, but that involves recompiling the kernel... and that seems a little excessive.

Last edited by mjjzf; 10-11-2004 at 03:58 AM.
Old 10-11-2004, 03:51 PM   #7
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possible memory leak

After looking into this further I am very suspicious that I have a memory leak in Firefox. ACPI is actually on (sorry for being too clueless to know originally.). When I ACPI -t I see that things run nice and cool until I have opened and then closed Firefox. After that it seems to climb even when the whole machine is idle! If I use Mozilla it will cool down after everyting is closed. I need to investigate further but right now this is my chief suspect. The processor seems to cool down to 41 C when the machine is "at idle." and warm up to the middle / upper 40s when active in Mozilla, Thunderbird, etc. But those temps aren't enough to start the fan.

Last edited by jeopardyracing; 10-11-2004 at 04:03 PM.
Old 11-05-2004, 06:42 PM   #8
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Re: possible memory leak

Originally posted by jeopardyracing
After looking into this further I am very suspicious that I have a memory leak in Firefox.
just to make sure, this is Firefox 1.0 instad of 0.8 or 0.9 ?


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