msvrtan's blog

Change CPU frequency scaling options from CLI

Depending on what type of work I’m doing I use different CPU options. While there is no need to blast CPU while surfing or doing some undemanding tasks, when coding or testing I prefer to have CPU frequency high to speed things up.

Until some time ago I used to modify CPU governor or frequency using GUI but decided to switch to command line: one command instead of setting it up for each core using GUI (in my case 4 which means 8 clicks). To have it done on Ubuntu based maschines you’ll need to install ‘linux-tools-common’:

  sudo apt-get install linux-tools-common

Instead of setting the exact frequency, I prefer to set governor. For instance ‘performance’ one will keep CPU on highest frequency while others (powersave, conservative and ondemand) will scale CPU frequency based on current CPU usage (more usage higher the frequency).

To get my maschine into performance mode:

  sudo cpupower frequency-set -g performance

To save battery or your monthly energy bill

  sudo cpupower frequency-set -g powersave

If you want to force exact frequency (example shows how to set frequency to 2Ghz)

  sudo cpupower frequency-set -f 20000000