How To: Check Your Hard Drive Temperature

Today’s article is going to teach you how to check your hard drive temperature (in Linux, of course). There are a number of ways to do this, so we’ll just cover one way in this article. It may seem complicated, but it’s not. This should be a pretty short article.

You should have a general idea of the temperature of components within your computer. The components have various operating temperatures and keeping them within spec means they’ll last longer and give you better performance.

Hard drives generally have temperature sensors and we’ll be using ‘hddtemp’ in the terminal to check your hard drive temperature. It won’t work with every hard drive, but it may work with yours. It’s a pretty easy application to install and use, so we’ll go over it as though you’re using Debian/Ubuntu/Mint or something that uses apt. A quick check says you have this available for other distros.

By the way, ‘hddtemp’ defines itself accurately enough, like so:

hddtemp – Utility to monitor hard drive temperature

Which is, as the article intends, exactly what we’re going to do…

Check Your Hard Drive Temperature:

This article requires an open terminal, like many other articles on this site. If you don’t know how to open the terminal, you can do so with your keyboard – just press CTRL + ALT + T and your default terminal should open.

With your terminal now open, let’s install ‘hddtemp’:

Next, we want to start it as a service:

And we’ll want to have ‘hddtemp’ start with the boot process:

That’s about it for the installation. Now all you need to do is know which hard drive you want to check. You can get a list of hard drives by running:

Next, you’ll run ‘hddtemp’ as a privileged user and use the path to the drive you want to check. So, it’d look a lot like this:

If you’re in luck, it’ll spit out the drive temperature. If you prefer Fahrenheit, the command should look similar to this:

That’s really all there is to it. You can check the man page for other options, but this is how most folks are going to use ‘hddtemp’ on their own local computers.


Well, this was a short article. I have a bit of a stomach ache, so picked one that’d be shorter than most. Ah well… At least now you know at least one way to check your hard drive temperature. That’s always a good thing.

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How To: Check CPU Temps With lm_sensors

There are a variety of ways to check your CPU temps, and this one will be covering this with lm_sensors. It’s a handy application and it’s often installed by default. Moreover, it’ll be available for pretty much every distro out there.

This time around, we’ll be using the above-mentioned lm-sensors. Wikipedia describes lm_sensors as thus:

lm_sensors (Linux-monitoring sensors) is a free open-source software-tool for Linux that provides tools and drivers for monitoring temperatures, voltage, humidity, and fans. It can also detect chassis intrusions.

It then says that a citation is needed. Thank you, Wikipedia. That’s helpful.

With so little to go on, we can check the man page. Alas, man lm_sensors has no entry. You’ll actually need to use the less obvious man sensors. That description isn’t much better, but it beats a blank.

sensors is used to show the current readings of all sensor chips. sensors -s is used to set all limits as specified in the configuration file. sensors –bus-list is used to generate bus statements suitable for the configuration file.

This will, of course, also tell you more about using lm_sensors, though there really aren’t a whole lot of options. It outputs what it outputs and you’ll like it. You’ll potentially get more information than just the CPU temps, but this article is about how to check CPU temps.

Check CPU Temps:

This rest of this article should be short and straightforward. Like normal, open up your default terminal emulator by pressing CTRL + ALT + T. Once the terminal is open, you can install lm_sensors easily enough. Try one of the following (note the varied names):





So far so good, yes? Well, now we need sensors to find our hardware and that’s another command in the terminal. Specifically, it’s this:

That’s going to run and it’s interactive. You will have to type “YES” over and over again. You’ll eventually need to hit the ENTER button. Fortunately, once you’re done, it’s all over and you never have to do it again – unless you add/change hardware that has sensors.

With lm_sensors loaded properly, let’s check CPU temps! It’s a really simple command – and it’s just:

If you are an American that is easily frightened by the metric system, you can just add the -f switch for Fahrenheit, like so:

Your output should look something like this:

lm_sensors in action
That’s a pretty standard output. Note the included CPU temps (listed by core, starting at core 0).

It should be noted that there’s more to the output than the CPU temps. This is not always the case. Your hardware may not have sensors that report back the operating conditions – but your CPU will almost always report that data so that the OS can do things like throttle-down for energy saving purposes. Be sure to run man sensors to see the rest of the options.


Congratulations! You can now easily tell how hot (or cold) your CPU is running. You should also look up your CPU’s temperature thresholds. This way you’ll be able to tell if your CPU is running hotter than it should be running. Doing this can save your hardware or give it greater longevity.

Thanks for reading! If you want to help, or if the site has helped you, you can donate, register to help, write an article, or buy inexpensive hosting to start your own site. If you scroll down, you can sign up for the newsletter, vote for the article, and comment.

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