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I have a Samsung NP900X3E laptop and I would like to control the fans as one of them is making weird noise.

I'm running Ubuntu 14.04.4 LTS with "Linux laptop 3.13.0-85-generic #129-Ubuntu SMP Thu Mar 17 20:50:15 UTC 2016 x86_64 x86_64 x86_64 GNU/Linux"

sensors reports:

root@laptop:/# sensors
acpitz-virtual-0
Adapter: Virtual device
temp1:        +54.0°C  (crit = +106.0°C)
temp2:        +29.8°C  (crit = +106.0°C)

coretemp-isa-0000
Adapter: ISA adapter
Physical id 0:  +53.0°C  (high = +87.0°C, crit = +105.0°C)
Core 0:         +47.0°C  (high = +87.0°C, crit = +105.0°C)
Core 1:         +49.0°C  (high = +87.0°C, crit = +105.0°C)

sensors-detect reports:

Driver `coretemp':
  * Chip `Intel digital thermal sensor' (confidence: 9)

lspci reports:

root@laptop:/# lspci
00:00.0 Host bridge: Intel Corporation 3rd Gen Core processor DRAM Controller (rev 09)
00:02.0 VGA compatible controller: Intel Corporation 3rd Gen Core processor Graphics Controller (rev 09)
00:16.0 Communication controller: Intel Corporation 7 Series/C210 Series Chipset Family MEI Controller #1 (rev 04)
00:1b.0 Audio device: Intel Corporation 7 Series/C210 Series Chipset Family High Definition Audio Controller (rev 04)
00:1c.0 PCI bridge: Intel Corporation 7 Series/C210 Series Chipset Family PCI Express Root Port 1 (rev c4)
00:1c.3 PCI bridge: Intel Corporation 7 Series/C210 Series Chipset Family PCI Express Root Port 4 (rev c4)
00:1c.4 PCI bridge: Intel Corporation 7 Series/C210 Series Chipset Family PCI Express Root Port 5 (rev c4)
00:1d.0 USB controller: Intel Corporation 7 Series/C210 Series Chipset Family USB Enhanced Host Controller #1 (rev 04)
00:1f.0 ISA bridge: Intel Corporation HM75 Express Chipset LPC Controller (rev 04)
00:1f.2 SATA controller: Intel Corporation 7 Series Chipset Family 6-port SATA Controller [AHCI mode] (rev 04)
00:1f.3 SMBus: Intel Corporation 7 Series/C210 Series Chipset Family SMBus Controller (rev 04)
01:00.0 Network controller: Intel Corporation Centrino Advanced-N 6235 (rev 24)
02:00.0 Ethernet controller: Realtek Semiconductor Co., Ltd. RTL8111/8168/8411 PCI Express Gigabit Ethernet Controller (rev 06)
03:00.0 USB controller: Renesas Technology Corp. uPD720202 USB 3.0 Host Controller (rev 02)

Any idea how I could control the two fans? The problem is that when one fan is needed to cool down the CPU, it's always the same one that is used. This fan is "tired" while the other works great when two fans are needed. Ideally, I would like to "permute" in software the usage of the two fans.

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Based on your output of sensors, it appears that lm_sensors does not detect any fan speed reading.

You should try running sensors-detect and answer yes to all questions to hopefully detect one that wasn't previously configured. If not, then it simply won't be possible to control those fans.

The BIOS controls the fans with a PWM, but its control is usually quite limited as is its configuration for it.

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  • Thanks! I have answered yes to all questions in sensors-detect. :-) :-( Also, physically, the fans use a 4-contact JST connector... – gregoiregentil May 4 '16 at 5:48
  • But if the kernel doesn't control the fans?, is this the BIOS that controls them? There was no fan-related settings in the BIOS UI... – gregoiregentil May 4 '16 at 5:50
  • Now that you saved that new configuration, do you see any fans when you run sensors? Note that you need to restart the lm_sensors service. – Julie Pelletier May 4 '16 at 5:51
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00:16.0 Communication controller: Intel Corporation 7 Series/C210 Series Chipset Family MEI Controller #1 (rev 04)

I know this thread is fairly old but it was never really resolved. Systems with Intel Management Engine (MEI) manage and hide the fans from you within Linux sadly. I'm thoroughly annoyed with this after getting a fresh workstation which has the fans hidden behind Management Engine and Intel Quiet System Technology whereas my older rigs could just tune fan speed via standard sensors.

https://www.gigabyte.com/Support/FAQ/722

Still looking for a current supported way to up the fan speeds when I want them. TuneD profiles used to do a great job but now it just throttles down CPUs to limit speed and keep things quiet.

Intel® Quiet System Technology (Intel® QST) Intelligent system fan speed control algorithms use operating temperature ranges more efficiently to reduce perceived system noise by minimizing fan speed changes.

In my experience "Intelligent system fan speed control algorithms" means not touching the fan speeds at all from the idle speed configured in BIOS. Sad.

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