i8kfan does not work with latest kernel

Bug #1620360 reported by zebul666
This bug affects 2 people
Affects Status Importance Assigned to Milestone
i8kutils (Ubuntu)

Bug Description

On **ubuntu 16.04** and a dell **inspiron 3521**,

*i8kfan* does not work anymore on latest kernel (4.4.0-36-generic). Nothing is happening when using i8kfan. Fan continue to blow or not to blow given the the starting event.

aka i8kfan -1 1 or i8kfan -1 2 or i8kfan -1 3) always returns -1 -1

Using i8kutils 1.42 does not work better

`sensors` command shows a dell_smm-virtual-0 device.

ProblemType: Bug
DistroRelease: Ubuntu 16.04
Package: i8kutils 1.41
ProcVersionSignature: Ubuntu 4.4.0-36.55-generic 4.4.16
Uname: Linux 4.4.0-36-generic x86_64
NonfreeKernelModules: wl
ApportVersion: 2.20.1-0ubuntu2.1
Architecture: amd64
CurrentDesktop: Unity
Date: Mon Sep 5 16:57:42 2016
InstallationDate: Installed on 2016-05-22 (105 days ago)
InstallationMedia: Ubuntu 16.04 LTS "Xenial Xerus" - Release amd64 (20160420.1)
SourcePackage: i8kutils
UpgradeStatus: No upgrade log present (probably fresh install)

Revision history for this message
zebul666 (zebul666) wrote :
Revision history for this message
Launchpad Janitor (janitor) wrote :

Status changed to 'Confirmed' because the bug affects multiple users.

Changed in i8kutils (Ubuntu):
status: New → Confirmed
Changed in i8kutils (Ubuntu):
importance: Undecided → Medium
Revision history for this message
htrex (hantarex) wrote :

I'm using i8kutils on Dell XPS 9560 with a fresh installed Ubuntu 16.04.2 Kernel 4.8 and I managed to set it up and make it work, but it was tricky.

One problem was that to make it work it was necessary to download the package sources, compile and move the "smm" utility to /usr/local/bin as that doesn't ship as a binary with the package.

The smm utility is needed to enable/disable the fan handling from the BIOS.
I've created a couple of scripts to switch between BIOS and i8kmon fan control.
Be careful with smm as it writes on hardware registers and if misused can potentially create troubles or even damage, in fact if you turn off bios fan management the effects of the command survive a reboot, if you plan to boot another OS enable BIOS fan control.

I8KUTILS fan control
sudo smm 30a3
sudo service i8kmon start

BIOS fan control
sudo service i8kmon stop
sudo smm 31a3

The Dell XPS 9560 has 2 fans so this is my custom /etc/i8kmon.conf

# Temperature thresholds: {fan_speeds low_ac high_ac low_batt high_batt}
# These were tested on the I8000. If you have a different Dell laptop model
# you should check the BIOS temperature monitoring and set the appropriate
# thresholds here. In doubt start with low values and gradually rise them
# until the fans are not always on when the cpu is idle.
set config(0) {{0 0} -1 60 -1 60}
set config(1) {{1 0} 50 65 50 65}
set config(2) {{1 1} 61 70 61 70}
set config(3) {{2 2} 66 128 66 128}

Revision history for this message
htrex (hantarex) wrote :

Ops... forgot an important step that was necessary for my laptop, otherwise the i8k module wont load.

sudo vi /etc/modprobe.d/i8k.conf

and fill it with this code:

options i8k force=1

On XPS 9560 the only thing that bothers me a bit is that i8k only supports 2500 and 4800 rpm fan speeds, while on Windows 10 I'm seeing the fan can spin also at 3100, 3700, 5100 rpm

vitorafsr (vitorafsr)
Changed in i8kutils (Ubuntu):
assignee: nobody → vitorafsr (vitorafsr)
status: Confirmed → Fix Committed
vitorafsr (vitorafsr)
Changed in i8kutils (Ubuntu):
status: Fix Committed → Fix Released
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