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Monday, April 14, 2008

Setting the CPU speed visually in Ubuntu

This is a nice little tip from a friend on how to make the your CPU frequency indicator actually work.

Some things I discovered in the process:

  • The sticky bit, which, if I understand correctly is an other way for privilege elevation under *NIX (the other two I know of are sudo and su). This sounds scary, so I searched around for methods of finding such files on my system. The results led me to a forum posting recommending
    sudo find / -perm -1000
    however this seems to display only directories (and if I understand correctly on directories the sticky bit has a different meaning - it's confusing). So finally I came up with the following one-liner which seems to work:
    sudo ls -hlR / | grep \^...s.\*
  • there is a dpkg-reconfigure command, which can be used to invoke a configuration interface for the packages. However it doesn't seem that this configuration interface is standardized in any way, shape or for, or that it discoverable programmatically (meaning that I didn't find a way to discover which packages from the ones I've installed have "hidden options" - and I don't feel like running the command on all the ~2000 packages installed). For the gnome applets package for example it asks you if you wish to set the sticky bit for the cpufreq selector :-)
    sudo dpkg-reconfigure gnome-applets

In conclusion I'm still setting the CPU frequency with

sudo cpufreq-set -d [minimum frequency]MHz -u [maximum frequency]MHz

Thank god for those bash shortcuts, so that I don't have to remember the complete command :-)


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