Linux Tip – CPU Frequency Scaling

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With a few commands, you can manage CPU Frequency Scaling yourself to save extra battery power and generate less heat. This tutorial shows you the basics of cpufrequtils and how to run commands to change you frequency scaling governor. Demonstrated on Ubuntu 12.10.


  1. It's not 90% of the geek who like celsius, it's 97% of the world population who USE celcius… the USA is the only country in the wolrd which uses fareneight… Get the net, it's 2017…
    When will the USA join the rest of the world ?

  2. sensors and CPU speed watch does not appear to work in raspberry pi land. 🙁 I think this has to do with those programs coded to work with x86 and not the raspberry pi ARM chipset. But it appears that I was able to get the governor to change to performance without issues! Thanks!

  3. HI..When I give it in powersave mode all the core does not go down to 1.17 GHz, which is the lowest frequency my laptop is running on windows 10. But in ubuntu 15.04 is something not rite. Dont know how to set it 1.17 Ghz. My laptop temperature goes past 90 degree Celcius when I am running GNS3.

  4. Hey man, great video. I ran into this problem when trying to set the governor.

    jake@jake-Inspiron-One-2330~ $ sudo cpufreq-set -r -g ondemand

    Outputs this:

    Error setting new values. Common errors:
    – Do you have proper administration rights? (super-user?)
    – Is the governor you requested available and modprobed?
    – Trying to set an invalid policy?
    – Trying to set a specific frequency, but userspace governor is not available,
       for example because of hardware which cannot be set to a specific frequency
       or because the userspace governor isn't loaded?

    Any suggestions as to what I might try? I Googled the shit out of the internet and although there's a ton of info out there relating to this there isn't really anything specific to Linux Mint 17.2 64bit. Thanks for your time.

  5. hi nice video btw i have ubuntu 12 on VMware Workstation and i need to lower the cpu frequency for a game server but i cant the cpu freq is lock on 3093.009 i have window 7 procesor corei3 coud you help ? thanks 😀

  6. Seems like it would be as simple as setting the variables in the config file (create them if they don't exist) and restarting the daemon. Not sure why Kubuntu would be any different. Same upstream software.

  7. In "/etc/conf.d/cpufreq" or wherever your distro puts config files. It should be somewhere under /etc. To see available frequencies do this: "cat /sys/devices/system/cpu/cpu0/cpufreq/scaling_available_frequencies"
    That should give you some different frequency options. Then you can create 2 variables like this:
    Where the values are taken from the output of the command above. My laptop is one of the old i7/nvidia system76 gazelle laptops.

  8. Ah gotcha. Probably worth mentioning as well you can set the max frequency for your cpus with cpufrequtils too. I usually just set it to ondemand and then scale it back a couple of steps for everyday usage (from 2.20 GHz -> 1.90 GHz). Otherwise I get the full blast start on fire cpu usage haha

  9. Awesome tip. On my machine though, acpi isn't even installed (Kubuntu). In the video, although I was actually using Ubuntu to record the tutorial, the commands were being run on a Kubuntu machine.

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