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Tuesday, June 22, 2021

How to Install and Use Psensor in Linux

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Psensor is a GTK+ application tool used to monitor the temperature. Its graphical interface displays the temperature of the motherboard, CPU, GPU, Hard Disk Drives. Additionally shows the rotational speed of fans and CPU usage. Psensor plots the data on real-time charts and raises alerts.

In this tutorial, we learn how to install Psensor in Linux.

Functionalities

Psensor allows you to perform the following functions:

  1. Checks the temperature of your CPU, hard disk, GPU (NVIDIA), and the entire motherboard.
  2. Displays the CPU fan speed.
  3. Checks and prints the CPU usage.
  4. Plots the temperature data on a chart.
  5. Provides alarms as a result of critical temperatures and fan speeds.

Install Psensor on Linux

Psensor relies on two other tools to effectively probe and report on the CPU temperature. It depends on the following:

lm-sensor : Probes and reports on the rotation speeds of the CPU fans.

hddtemp: This obtains the hard disk drive temperature.

To get a holistic report, both of these tools need to be installed.

Debian/Ubuntu distributions

If you are running Debian 9 and later versions, Ubuntu 18.04 and later, and any newer derivatives of the two, run the APT command as shown to install Psensor and its dependencies.

$ sudo apt install lm-sensors psensor hddtemp

CentOS/RHEL distributions

For RedHat distributions, you need to , first of all , ensure that EPEL repository is enabled as follows:

CentOS 8

$ sudo dnf install epel-release

RHEL 8

$ sudo dnf install https://dl.fedoraproject.org/pub/epel/epel-release-latest-8.noarch.rpm

Once EPEL is installed, proceed and install Psensor and its dependencies as shown.

$ sudo dnf install lm_sensors hddtemp lm_sensors-devel

How to use Psensor

First, scan your system for various hardware monitoring chips or sensors. The command determines which modules will be loaded for lm_sensors to work effectively.

$ sudo sensors-detect

This is going to request you to allows autodetection of a myriad of sensors. When prompted, simply type ‘YES‘ and hit ENTER.

sensors-detect
sensors-detect

Do likewise for all the prompts.

auto-detect hardware components for Psensor and lm_sensors
detect hardware components for lm_sensors

Once the detection is complete, invoke the command below to view the temperature of various CPU cores

$ sensors
sensors command
sensors command

To start viewing the graphs, press the Super key ( Windows Logo Key ) and search for Psensor as shown.

Note: Using Gnome Desktop on Ubuntu 20.04

Launch Psensor
Launch Psensor

This launches the Psensor temperature monitor as shown. Ensure that you check all the CPU cores, hard drive and memory options for graphing.

Psensor temperature monitor
Psensor temperature monitor

On the top bar menu, be sure to locate the Psensor icon. Click on it to reveal the temperature of various CPU cores, CPU usage and hard drive temperature.

Psensor temperature reading and menu options
Psensor temperature reading and menu options

To edit sensor preferences, click on the ‘Sensor Preferences‘ options. You can edit various parameters, for instance setting up the alarm thresholds.

Edit alarm thresholds Psensor
Edit alarm thresholds Psensor

Additionally, you can configure sensor readings to be displayed on the top bar menu for each component by clicking on the ‘Application Indicator‘ tab and checking on the ‘Display sensor in the label (Experimental)‘ option.

Edit Psensor preferences
Edit Psensor preferences

This displays the temperature readings on the top bar menu as shown.

temperature label top menu bar
temperature label for Psensor top menu bar

Conclusion

Installing and using the Psensor tool is quite an easy task. It provides an overviews of the temperature reading of CPU cores, Hard drive and any other chipsets whose temperature can be probed and recorded. Be reminded that this only works on a physical PC and not in a virtual machines since the components are in a virtual state.

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