Graphics Card Fan Control
I'd used Trisquel 4 on a quite old computer before I upgraded my hardware. Now I have Brigantia installed on a triple-boot system that uses one NVIDIA 9800GT card. However, at the moment I find it too noisy to use with Trisquel, because the standard software supplied with the nouveau drivers make my card's fan run at full speed.
The other operating systems (Windows 7 and Kubuntu) both use the proprietry NVIDIA drivers and therefore control the fan speed automatically.
I'd really like to get Trisquel to do the same using nouveau if possible, as I dislike prefer completely open source software.
Failing that, I'd consider installing the NVIDIA drivers onto Trisquel, but a) that would be a shame, and b) I don't know even whether that would be possible.
I've installed lm-sensors, and so I can monitor the temperature of my system, but that's about as far as I've got. Is there anyone who could suggest a way to solve my problem using only open source software (without buying another GPU card)? As a last resort, to save me having to use Microsoft or Canonical full-time, is there a way to install the NVIDIA drivers on Trisquel?
"I'd really like to get Trisquel to do the same using nouveau if possible, as I dislike prefer completely open source software."
That is I dislike Microsoft and prefer open source software
Please understand why Trisquel is about free software and not open source.
Yes, I've seen that article before. Please understand that some people might understand but not necessarily see your side of things.
Anyway, after that lesson in semantics I installed the "linux-libre" kernel, and apart from splashing against my wishes an advert for the Free Software Foundation on my boot screen (so much for freedom), it also broke my networking. Oh, and it didn't solve my problem. Back to the old global capitalist system for me, it seems. Maybe another distro. Maybe another year.
You are proving by your actions there is a difference between open source and free software that is deeper then just semantics.
In short, a person who truly values freedom would use a free operating system despite technical hiccups. We realize there are many cases where the free software alternative is not as powerful as the proprietary version like the nvidia driver you mention. A person who values freedom and free software will accept free software that is not as powerful over a non-free alternative. You, however are very easily willing to go back to proprietary software when difficulty is faced.
You admit you were willing to install non-free drivers onto your system just because it was louder then you expected. This clearly shows where open source values lay. You use open source when it is powerful and suits you but do not really bat an eyelash at the thought of installing proprietary software when open source doesn't meet your technical needs.
There is a deep philosophical difference between free software and open source despite using many similar licenses. It is not simply just semantics as you have demonstrated.
Actually, I'm proving by my actions that, far from being "very easily willing to go back to proprietary software when difficulty is faced", I am in favour of both free software and open source software, and against the ownership and control of information technology by an elite few. Otherwise, unlike almost everyone else, I wouldn't have spent the last six years using GNU linux operating systems, but you wouldn't know anything about that.
Regarding philosophy and social change, having been an activist in the Green Party when most Trisquel users were still playing with their He-Man dolls, I've met plenty of very rich people whose idea of radicality is demanding that everyone chills out in tipis in the countryside, hugging one another and talking about how the world should look. They almost universally failed to recognise that the people who are most in need of both a hug and change were living in such dire social and financial circumstances that leaving the slum for more than an afternoon is something they only did when they were kids. The best such "un-Green" people could hope for was a soul-destroying shift job in the local factory making consumer products for rich people. What they needed wasn 't some jumper-clad goon talk down to them about morality and philosophy. What they needed was some very practical message about how to get out of their shit-hole.
More than two decades on, most of those rich people now have cool jobs in the city working for the very monster they claimed to have morally transcended back in the 1980's. They still chill out occasionally, but more often than not they do it at a pop festival with drugs grown by a third world peasant farmer, and as often as not they get to the countryside in their Toyota Pious, or some other "cool" artifact of global capitalism. In the mean time, those left behind have kids who are lucky if they're working in the same exploitative factory environment.
It's rather the same situation nowadays in the "free" software movement. The ones who have the most money are those who can best afford to be free, because they can pick and choose their hardware to fit their favourite operating systems. The rest either have to slum it with what's on offer for less than a few hundred pounds on ebay, or they can't even afford a computer. If they can, chances are that they've spent out so much on hardware that a telephone line and internet connection - and hence downloadable/updateable operating systems - are out of the question.
Regarding the "technical hiccups" that you mentioned, I recently got into deep financial do-dos by buying a load of second-hand hardware from which I managed to build a "new" computer. The biggest expense was on a rather nice (second-hand) Antec Sonata case, renowned for being fairly quiet (I have tinnitus from using substandard computer equipment for so long). It also has a graphics card that cost me £40 - all I could afford, but a real advance on my stone age model from several years back. One thing, though, is that graphics cards tend to come with rather nioisy fans...
So, after having spent my ever-shrinking money supply on hardware, on telephone line, and on internet connection in order to follow my principles by downloading an operating system that I'd hoped would be more ethically based than most, I really wasn't too happy at having to sit there listening to the tinnitus-inducing sound of fans all day.
And now, despite all your high ideals, I notice that you haven't any PRACTICAL suggestions about how to solve this problem. So, if all you can do is lecture people who want a solution that allows them to use open source software (call it what you will), you can hardly complain when they give up and go back to what has at least worked for them in the past.
P.S. I favour copyleft. Anychance Trisquel will go down that route. Thought not!
If you want practical advice here it is:
1) Firstly the nouveau FAQ which includes the question "2.16. The fan is really LOUD all the time. How do I make it more quiet?" and the answer:
On many cards, the fan is temperature controlled already, but obviously in your case it is stuck at the maximum speed. We need some help from you to fix it, but we do not know yet what you could do for us, exactly. Please, check this FAQ item every once in a while, we will tell you here what to do, when we figure it out. In the mean time, if you are interested, you can read PowerManagement and/or contact mupuf on the #nouveau freenode IRC channel.
Your help is needed to fix this issue.
2) Replace the graphics card or fan. I know you said you are short on funds but maybe you could find a second hand one from a friend that is passively cooled or uses a lower power fan and they are not using.
3) Freedom 1 allows you to download the source code and hack on the nouveau driver yourself or hire someone to do so.
But basically if the upstream nouveau developers have not fixed the fan problem it is even more unlikely someone from Trisquel will be able to because our knowledge of the source code will be worse then those of the nouveau devs. I would join the #nouveau irc channel and try to help them out.
I gave you two "practical suggestions": 1) try the latest driver (and I pointed you the easiest way to do so) and 2) if it does not work, contact the developers of these drivers. If you want a third piece of advice: help them.
As for "the ones who have the most money who can best afford to be free, because they can pick and choose their hardware to fit their favourite operating systems.", it does not match reality. Check out the prices at ThinkPenguin. The GeForce 9500GT (the best possible performances with a 100% free operating system) costs US$ 64.
By the way I love the hypocrisy of this sentence: "So, if all you can do is lecture people who want a solution...". Is it better to lecture people trying to help you?
Thanks to both of you. You've helped me by telling me that you can't help me. Really, failing you telling me that you can help me, this was all I really wanted. All the other stuff we exchanged about freedom and philosophy wasn't at all part of my original, purely technical, question.
Sirgrant, regarding your points:
1. I'd already done some research and from what I'd seen I suspected that the problem had not yet been solved by developers, but I wanted to find out from other people if they had seen something I hadn't. Reasonable enough?
2. I'll take your suggestion on board. Thanks for the practical advice.
3. Freedom to hack software is something most people haven't been educated to do. Education (or self-education) takes time and/or money. Both are in short supply. Similarly, with regard to hiring people to do the hacking, I usually can't afford to hire a taxi, so again it shows how far IT freedom goes when practical considerations are taken into account.
Magic Banana, I tried the first of your suggestions, and have already told you what happened. I'd have probably been more grateful for the suggestion if it wasn't couched within a poorly concealed piece of conceited "holier than though" patronisation. Regarding the GeForce 9500GT: 1) isn't that proprietary hardware? and 2) perhaps you'd like to lend me $64, so I can join in the happy bandwagon of freedom-not-open-source. I'd be very happy to give you free lectures on how not to patronise new users - sort of a mutually equal LETS exchange???
Sincerely, the behavior that consists in being aggressive (not to write "insulting") with helping people is beyond me... But anyway, keep on thinking that we are "very rich people playing with He-Man dolls, making jumper-clad goon talk, chilling out with drugs, getting to the countryside in our Toyota Pious", etc.
Trisquel is not only addressing a technical problem but an ethical one too. If you do not want to hear about it, just seek help elsewhere.
You will notice that the "£40 - all you could afford" convert to US$ 64, the price of the card that provides the best performance on Linux-libre (i.e., with free drivers, I do not know what you mean by "proprietary hardware"). And searching a bit more, you can find the same card used for much less. So, again, it would not have cost you more and your all theory about "free software" being for "very rich people" falls apart.
As for the lecture: I wrote one line, you wrote pages. Who is lecturing?
You can insult me some more if you wish. I will not reply though.
If you actually read what I wrote, the quote that you referenced me with is not there, although the words included in it (all jumbled together) were used in a context different to anything I said about you personally.
Not knowing you, I can't say whether they apply to you or not, so with regard to any "insults" (your word, not mine), I've restricted myself to remarking on your patronising assumption that I need educating on the distinction between open source and free software licenses, when all I asked about was a technical matter to do with graphics card drivers.
Regarding the graphics card that you seem keen on having me buy, I've already spent the £40 that I have on another, so at whatever price you can quote me it would be more expensive. If that doesn't seem clear enough, 40 + 40 = 80. 80 is twice 40. I only had 40, and it's already spent. If and when I ever have another £40 to spend I may consider your suggestion, but will probably reject it, because by the time I have more money for hardware, the chances are that the nouveau developers will have solved the problem with my existing card. Then, and only then, I will be able to use the otherwise very good Trisquel operating system without further damaging my sense of sound.
Finally, I'm glad you won't be replying. I always like to have the last word. Especially when I'm right.
no reason for big words.
Suggestion #1: Get a VGA fan which is always silent without fan control. I go a nice one from Arctic Cooling below 10€ which perfectly cools my 9800GT and is inaudible.
Get either a USB or PCI NIC which works without firmware.
Problems solved ! :-)