Monthly Archives: September 2017

Advanced lm-sensors Tips and Tricks on Linux |

I’ve been using the lm-sensors tool ever since CPUs became hot enough to melt themselves. It monitors CPU temperature, fan speeds, and motherboard voltages. In this two-part series, I’ll explain some advanced uses of lm-sensors, and look at some of the best graphical interfaces to use with it.

Install and Run

Install lm-sensors, then run it with no options to see what it does:

$ sensors
Adapter: ISA adapter
Physical id 0:  +37.0°C  (high = +80.0°C, crit = +100.0°C)
Core 0:         +35.0°C  (high = +80.0°C, crit = +100.0°C)
Core 1:         +37.0°C  (high = +80.0°C, crit = +100.0°C)
Core 2:         +34.0°C  (high = +80.0°C, crit = +100.0°C)
Core 3:         +36.0°C  (high = +80.0°C, crit = +100.0°C)

This is on an Ubuntu PC. My openSUSE Leap system installs it with a working configuration, but Ubuntu needs some additional tweaking. Run sensors-detect to set it up to detect even more stuff. The safe method is to accept all of the defaults by pressing the return key to answer every question:

$ sudo sensors-detect
# sensors-detect revision 6284 (2015-05-31 14:00:33 +0200)
# Board: ASRock H97M Pro4
# Kernel: 4.4.0-96-generic x86_64
# Processor: Intel(R) Core(TM) i7-4770K CPU @ 3.50GHz (6/60/3)

This program will help you determine which kernel modules you need
to load to use lm_sensors most effectively. It is generally safe
and recommended to accept the default answers to all questions,
unless you know what you're doing.

Some south bridges, CPUs or memory controllers contain embedded sensors.
Do you want to scan for them? This is totally safe. (YES/no): 


When it finishes scanning, it will ask you if you want it to modify /etc/modules:

To load everything that is needed, add this to /etc/modules:
#----cut here----
# Chip drivers
#----cut here----
If you have some drivers built into your kernel, the list above will
contain too many modules. Skip the appropriate ones!

Do you want to add these lines automatically to /etc/modules? (yes/NO)

Before you answer, look in your kernel configuration file to see if the drivers are built-in, or are loadable modules. If they are built-in then don’t modify /etc/modules. If they are modules, then modify /etc/modules. This is what loadable modules look like in my /boot/config-4.4.0-96-generic file:


If they are built-in to the kernel (statically-compiled, if you prefer the nerdy term) then they look like this:


If they are loadable modules, go ahead and modify /etc/modules, and then manually load the modules, substituting your own module names of course:

$ sudo modprobe nct6775 coretemp

Use lsmod to verify they are loaded:

$ lsmod|grep "nct6775|coretemp"
nct6775                57344  0
hwmon_vid              16384  1 nct6775
coretemp               16384  0

Any modules listed in /etc/modules will load at boot. Now let’s see what sensors shows us:

$ sensors
Adapter: ISA adapter
Physical id 0:  +37.0°C  (high = +80.0°C, crit = +100.0°C)
Core 0:         +35.0°C  (high = +80.0°C, crit = +100.0°C)
Core 1:         +37.0°C  (high = +80.0°C, crit = +100.0°C)
Core 2:         +34.0°C  (high = +80.0°C, crit = +100.0°C)
Core 3:         +36.0°C  (high = +80.0°C, crit = +100.0°C)

Adapter: ISA adapter
Vcore:          +0.90 V  (min =  +0.00 V, max =  +1.74 V)
in1:            +1.82 V  (min =  +0.00 V, max =  +0.00 V)  ALARM
AVCC:           +3.39 V  (min =  +0.00 V, max =  +0.00 V)  ALARM
+3.3V:          +3.38 V  (min =  +0.00 V, max =  +0.00 V)  ALARM
in4:            +0.95 V  (min =  +0.00 V, max =  +0.00 V)  ALARM
in5:            +1.69 V  (min =  +0.00 V, max =  +0.00 V)  ALARM
in6:            +0.78 V  (min =  +0.00 V, max =  +0.00 V)  ALARM
3VSB:           +3.42 V  (min =  +0.00 V, max =  +0.00 V)  ALARM
Vbat:           +3.28 V  (min =  +0.00 V, max =  +0.00 V)  ALARM
fan1:             0 RPM  (min =    0 RPM)
fan2:          1004 RPM  (min =    0 RPM)
fan3:             0 RPM  (min =    0 RPM)
fan4:             0 RPM  (min =    0 RPM)
fan5:             0 RPM  (min =    0 RPM)
SYSTIN:         +29.0°C  (high =  +0.0°C, hyst =  +0.0°C)  ALARM  sensor = thermistor
CPUTIN:         +42.5°C  (high = +80.0°C, hyst = +75.0°C)  sensor = thermistor
AUXTIN:         +47.0°C  (high = +80.0°C, hyst = +75.0°C)  sensor = thermistor
PECI Agent 0:   +37.0°C  (high = +80.0°C, hyst = +75.0°C)
                         (crit = +100.0°C)
PCH_CHIP_TEMP:   +0.0°C  
PCH_CPU_TEMP:    +0.0°C  
PCH_MCH_TEMP:    +0.0°C  
intrusion0:    ALARM
intrusion1:    ALARM
beep_enable:   disabled

A feast of information! Much of which is not useful because devices do not exist or are not connected, like most of the fan sensors. On Ubuntu I disabled these in /etc/sensors3.conf with the ignore directive:

ignore fan1
ignore fan3
ignore fan4
ignore fan5

Now when I run sensors the output does not include those (Figure 1). You should be able to put your customizations in files in /etc/sensors.d, but this doesn’t work on my Ubuntu machine.

What do Those Things Mean?

CPUTIN is CPU temperature index, AUXTIN is auxiliary temperature index, and SYSTIN is system temperature index. These are all sensors on the motherboard. AUXTIN is the power supply temperature sensor, and SYSTIN measures motherboard temperature. Core temperature is different from CPUTIN as it reads from a sensor on your CPU.

HYST is short for hysteresis. This is the value that you want an alarm to turn off. For example, if your alarm temperature is 80C, set your HYST value to stop the alarm when the temperature falls to 75C.

Get the Specs

The basic lm-sensors monitoring of CPU temperatures may be enough for you. However, you can finely-tweak lm-sensors for greater accuracy, change labels, and run it as a daemon. You need the spec sheet for your motherboard (which will also help make sense of your lm-sensors output). Find your exact motherboard model and version by running $ sudo dmidecode -t 2. The kernel driver documentation is also useful. For example, this is the kernel spec for my nct6775 driver.

Come back next week and we’ll learn even cooler advanced uses of lm-sensors.

Learn more about Linux through the free “Introduction to Linux” course from The Linux Foundation and edX.

Oracle Donating Java EE to the Eclipse Foundation » Linux Magazine

Oracle is donating yet another open source technology that it acquired from Sun Microsystems. After discussions with IBM, Red Hat, and a few open source foundations, Oracle has chosen the Eclipse Foundation as the rightful home for the Java Enterprise Edition (Java EE) platform.

“The Eclipse Foundation has strong experience and involvement with Java EE and related technologies. This will help us transition Java EE rapidly, create community-friendly processes for evolving the platform, and leverage complementary projects such as MicroProfile. We look forward to this collaboration,” said David Delabassee, Software Evangelist at Oracle.

To ensure smooth transition to the new home, Oracle has made certain changes to its proposal.

The company will relicense Java EE technologies and related GlassFish technologies to the foundation. This would include Reference Implementations (RIs), Technical Compatibility Kits (TCKs), and associated project documentation.

Oracle is also recommending a new name and new branding for the platform within the foundation. However, for continuity, the company intends to enable the use of existing javax package names and component specification names for existing Java Specification Requests (JSRs)

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Linus Torvalds Invites Attackers to Join the Ke… » Linux Magazine

Last week at the Open Source Summit, Linus Torvalds sent an open invitation to security hackers and attackers to join the Linux kernel community.

Torvalds is not a huge fan of the “security community” because he doesn’t see it as black and white. He maintains that bugs are part of the software development process and they cannot be avoided, no matter how hard you try: “constant absolute security does not exist, even if we do a perfect job,” said Torvalds in a conversation with Jim Zemlin, the executive director of the Linux Foundation.

In a previous conversation with us, Torvalds said there are way too many people out there who continue to search for bugs and holes in software to attack.

Torvalds is fascinated by how smart some of these security hackers are. They always find something, in a very clever way, somewhere that no one thought could have been a security hole.

“As a technical person, I’m always very impressed by some of the people who are attacking our code,” Torvalds said. “I get the feeling that these smart people are doing really bad things, that I wish they were on our side because they are so smart, and they could help us.”

Torvalds said that the kernel community would be in much better shape if they could get as many of those smart people before turning to the dark side. He wanted them to help improve the code instead of attacking it.

“I’m encouraging the people who are interested in security to come to us instead of attacking us,” said Torvalds.

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Linux Foundation LFCE Georgi Yadkov Shares His Certification Journey |

The Linux Foundation offers many resources for developers, users, and administrators of Linux systems. One of the most important offerings is its Linux Certification Program. The program is designed to give you a way to differentiate yourself in a job market that’s hungry for your skills.

How well does the certification prepare you for the real world? To illustrate that, The Linux Foundation is highlighting some of those who have recently passed the certification examinations. These testimonials should help you decide if either the Linux Foundation Certified System Administrator or the Linux Foundation Certified Engineer certification is right for you. In this article, recently certified engineer Georgi Yadkov shares his experience. How did you become interested in Linux and open source?

Georgi Yadkov: My first experience with Linux was 15 years ago when I received a CD with Knoppix as a gift one of the first live CD Linux distributions. Back then, I was totally amazed when I booted from the optical drive, and some minutes later I was browsing the Internet.

Some years later (while attending university), a couple of students and myself proposed to the faculty to install MOODLE (open source course management system) in order to improve the collaboration and communication between the students and teachers. That was the first time I’d ever installed a Linux web server. I was very pleased with the results. Later, it would become my career. What Linux Foundation course did you achieve certification in? Why did you select that particular course?

Yadkov: My journey started a year ago. I decided to enroll myself for the e-learning course for LFCS (which was huge at that time) and if I managed to pass the exam to prepare for LFCE. At that point, I had approximately five years of experience with server and desktop Linux machines. My overall level was very low and my knowledge was condensed in the bookmarks with the tutorials which I used to configure my servers (like how to install Apache, etc.). I learned about the course from the edX free course and decided that it will be great opportunity to expand my knowledge in this area.

There were numerous challenges for me during the last 12 months, like difficulties in understanding some of the topics and grasping the concepts, technical failures during the exams, lack of time (my second daughter was born last June), and lack of peer support (we have a strong commitment to Microsoft in the office). The most difficult moment was when I finished the LFCS training materials and was heading to enroll for the exam. I checked the competency document, and I found that I was missing a lot of things and would have to go back to the basics with the edX course. It was quite frustrating and demoralizing, and it took me a considerable amount of time to overcome it (2-3 months).

In May 2017, I successfully passed LFCS, and in July 2017 the LFCE.

When I was researching the available options for certification, I chose The Linux Foundation because I liked the curriculum, the practice-oriented approach of the exam, and mainly because I was able to prepare and take the exam from home. What are your career goals? How do you see Linux Foundation certification helping you achieve those goals and benefiting your career?

Yadkov: I see myself in the future designing, implementing, and maintaining complex infrastructure by integrating different technologies. For me, the Linux Foundation certification is a step toward that direction. I was able to grasp how some of the fundamental Internet technologies work and how they fit in the Linux server. Definitely the biggest eye-opener was that I realized how much I don’t know. What other hobbies or projects are you involved in? Do you participate in any open source projects at this time?

Yadkov: In my free time, I tried to be offline as much as possible. Usually I spend my time with my family and friends. Do you plan to take future Linux Foundation courses? If so, which ones?

Yadkov: Maybe in the near future the OpenStack Administration Fundamentals. In what ways do you think the certification will help you as a systems administrator in today’s market?

Yadkov: The Linux Foundation courses cover the main foundations of Linux server administration. Passing the exam not only provides a credible certificate but validates that the candidate can apply the knowledge to solve practical problems related to server administration under time constraint. What Linux distribution do you prefer and why?

Yadkov: Depends on the purpose of the installation Linux Mint as a desktop and CentOS for servers. Are you currently working as a systems administrator? If so, what role does Linux play?

Yadkov: I’m working as IT manager in a language school. Maintaining our MOODLE installation and the underlying infrastructure is a part of my responsibilities. We rely on Linux for almost everything related to MOODLE — web server, DB server, mail server, backup server, etc. Also we rely solely on Linux for the software development process it’s the OS of the developers and testers, web server for the tasks and bug tracking system, etc. Where do you see the Linux job market growing the most in the coming years?

Yadkov: Many organizations will switch to cloud services and infrastructure, and there will be a lot of demand for experts which could design and maintain complex infrastructure. What advice would you give those considering certification for their preparation?

Yadkov: The preparation for the exams demands persistence and a lot of dedicated time for learning and practice. Looking back, I don’t think that cramming for a couple of days before the exam is a viable option for success.

Having a good plan is a huge step toward the certification. I personally prefer to imagine every step backwards from the exam date back to today. This exercise helped me to list all the required tasks, to evaluate the needed time, and to plan my daily schedule accordingly.

Another key aspect for me was practicing. You should practice, practice, practice, and while practicing you shouldn’t only try to do the things right but rather to examine how the system behave when something is wrong. I found, at least for myself, that by making mistakes I was able to understand and even memorize the things better and thus be better prepared when the time comes for the production servers.

The positives from this journey in the Linux world are many and with enormous value for me and the people around me (employer, colleagues and friends):

  • The exams for the certificate and the fee motivated me to keep going through the course (which can’t be said about the free edX course).

  • I can now explain some of the key Linux concepts.

  • I have a position in the emacs vs vim war — just joking. I know like 10 percent of the functionality, and it is awesome.

  • I gain confidence that I when don’t understand something I can read the manual and grasp the key points.

  • I can set up and maintain basic server configurations and desktops (doing it faster and better with each instance).


Learn more about Linux through the free “Introduction to Linux” course from The Linux Foundation and edX.

Read more:

Linux Foundation LFCS and LFCE: Pratik Tolia

Linux Foundation Certified Engineer: Gbenga “Christopher” Adigun

Linux Foundation Certified Engineer: Karthikeyan Ramaswamy

Linux Foundation Certified System Administrator: Muneeb Kalathil

Linux Foundation Certified System Administrator: Theary Sorn

Linux Foundation Certified Engineer: Ronni Jensen

On-Prem IT Infrastructure Endures, Talent Needed

Despite steady adoption of public cloud services, organizations continue to invest in their on-premises IT infrastructure and the people who run it, according to a new report from 451 Research.

The firm’s latest “Voice of the Enterprise: Datacenter Transformation” study found that organizations are maintaining healthy capacity in their on-premises data centers and have no plans to cut back on the staff assigned to data center and facility operations. Almost 60% of the nearly 700 IT decision makers surveyed by the firm said they have enough data center floor space and power capacity to last at least five years.

Even though many companies expect the total number of IT staffers to decline over the next year, most expect the number of employees dedicated to data center and facilities will stay the same or increase, according to 451 Research.

The reason for the continued data center investment, cited by 63% of those polled, was fairly generic: business growth. Christian Perry, research manager and lead analyst of the report, said analysts dove a little deeper. As it turns out, companies are finding that keeping workloads long term on public cloud services isn’t all that cost effective.

Regardless of the type of workload in the cloud – ERP, communications, or CRM for example – or size of the company, when an organization expands a workload by adding new licenses, seats, or functions, the cost over time winds up close to what it would cost to keep the workload on-premises, Perry said. Costs include opex and capex for IT infrastructure – servers, storage and networking – as well as the facilities that contain it.

“It still is dirt cheap to go to the cloud, but to stay in the cloud, that’s a whole other story,” he told me in a phone interview.

While some companies manage their cloud costs well, unexpected growth, a massive new project or a new division coming online can make cloud costs unwieldy, Perry said.

Another factor that’s playing into the continued data center investment is the “cloudification” of on-premises IT infrastructure. Converged infrastructure has enabled companies to reach greater levels of agility, flexibility, and cost control, Perry said, adding that hyperconverged infrastructure boosts that trend.

Data center skills shortage

While organizations continue to invest their on-premises IT infrastructure and facilities, they’re running into staffing challenges, 451 Research found. Twenty-nine percent face a skills shortage when trying to find qualified data center and facilities personnel, Perry said.

As companies are shifting away from traditional IT architectures to converged and hyperconverged infrastructure, demand for IT generalists has grown, he said. “Specialists are still critical in on-prem environments, but we’ve definitely seen the rise of the generalist…There’s a lot of training going on internally in organizations to bring their specialists to a generalist level.”

Of the 29% facing staffing challenges, a majority (60%) are focused on training existing staff to fill the gaps. Those attending the training tend to be server and storage administrators, 451 Research found. “There’s a certain sense of fear that they’re going to become siloed and potentially irrelevant,” Perry said. “At the same time, there’s a lot of excitement about these newer architectures and software-defined technologies.”

Companies cited a big skills gap in the areas of virtualization and containers, technologies companies view as transformative to their on-premises infrastructure, he said. They’re also key technologies to facilitate the continued enterprise focus on data center consolidation.

“The jump in cloud has had an impact on IT staffing overall,” Perry said. “A lot of cloud service providers have scooped up a ton of good IT talent. That’s not just Tier 1 cloud providers, but also Tier 2…They’re pulling away skilled IT staff and leaving gaps for on-prem.”

A separate 451 Research report that looked into enterprise server and converged infrastructure trends found that VM administration was the top skill enterprises have trouble finding. A third of organizations reported a networking skills gap.









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