How to Monitor System Temperature in Linux – GUI Based Temperature Monitoring Tool


Short Bytes: Psensor is a graphical hardware temperature monitor for Linux. It is a GTK+ application for monitoring hardware sensors, including temperatures and fan speeds.

do you every wanted to know – what is the temperature of your PC or laptop when it becomes so hot and throws out warm air? There any many reasons for overheating and it can happen without any hardware fault, due to various software issues e.g. buggy graphics card driver, misconfigured fan control program, malfunctioning CPU frequency scaling daemon, etc. Another quite common cause for overheating is dust, dirt and debris clogging the cooling system (fan, heat sink and ventilation openings).

Though, in most cases, you are not supposed to be worried about the temperature of your computer. Barring manufacturing defects, hardware is designed so that its temperature does not exceed maximum operating temperature. But it is always better if you get to know what’s going on inside your system and you can set alerts.

Sometimes overheating may become serious enough to cause permanent damage on your hardware. You should always watch out for any overheating issue in your system. And even better, have temperature monitoring system in place, so that you will be alerted if system temperature suddenly goes up. One such tool is which comes with various Linux distro is Psensor.

Psensor is a GTK+ application for monitoring hardware sensors, including temperatures and fan speeds. It displays a curve for each sensor, alerts user using Desktop Notification and Application Indicator when a temperature is too high. Psensor is designed to be simple and easy to use. The CPU and memory consumption are not significant.

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With Psensor in place you can monitor –

  • the temperature of the motherboard and CPU sensors (using lm-sensors).
  • the temperature of the NVidia GPUs (using XNVCtrl).
  • the temperature of the Hard Disk Drives (using hddtemp).
  • the rotation speed of the fans (using lm-sensors).
  • the sensors of a remote computer (using psensor-server).

How to install Psensor in Linux?

Psensor should compile on any modern distribution including GTK+ v3 and lm-sensors which are quite common. For Linux Distribution still stuck on GTK+ v2, the old 0.6.x releases of Psensor can be used.

Binary packages of Psensor are available for few Linux distributions:

You can follow below steps to install Psensor in ubuntu 14.10 –

1. First step is to install dependencies:

On Debian/Ubuntu/Mint

# sudo apt-get install lm-sensors hddtemp

On RedHat/CentOS/Fedora

# sudo yum install epel-release 
# sudo yum install lm_sensors hddtemp

2. Install Psensor using following commands:

On Debian/Ubuntu/Mint

# sudo apt-get install psensor

On RedHat/CentOS/Fedora

Unfortunately, on RedHat like systems, Psensor isn’t available from the default system repository, and you need to compile it from source as shown below.

# sudo yum install gcc gtk3-devel GConf2-devel cppcheck libatasmart-devel libcurl-devel json-c-devel libmicrohttpd-devel help2man libnotify-devel libgtop2-devel make

Next, download the most recent stable Psensor (i.e version 1.1.3) source tarball and compile it using following commands.

# wget 
# tar zxvf psensor-1.1.3.tar.gz 
# cd psensor-1.1.3/ 
# ./configure 
# make 
# make install

3. Then, starts the detection of your hardware sensors:

sudo sensors-detect

4. Verify that it works:

# sensors

It should display something like:

Adapter: ISA adapter
Core 0:      +46.0C  (high = +76.0C, crit = +100.0C)

Adapter: ISA adapter
Core 1:      +44.0C  (high = +76.0C, crit = +100.0C)


5. Run Psensor, from the desktop Application Menu to get the graphical view:


Configuring Psensor is very simple you can go to Menu PsensorPreferences. And from here, you can have options for Interface related customization, Temperature Unit, Sensor table Position, Launch/Hide at Startup and Restore Window Position and Size, Foreground/Background Color, Monitoring Duration, Update Interval etc.

With inputs from: wpitchoune

We will be covering more on how you can use Psensor-server and monitor temperature of a remote server and build you own monitoring tools. Stay tuned!

Are you able to install and monitor hardware temperature using Psensor? Let us know in comments.

Now Read: How To Prevent Your Computer From Overheating

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Ananda Verma

Ananda Verma

Writes for machines mostly. Sometimes for humans too.
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