Are you feeling the heat with your Raspberry Pi? Learn how to cool down and keep an eye on your CPU temperature with this guide to monitoring your Raspberry Pi’s temperature. Importantly you will learn when a Raspberry Pi temperature monitor might be needed and when it might not.
Don’t let overheating ruin your next project. Keep your Pis running smooth and strong with our simple and effective tips on how to use various Raspberry Pi temperature monitors on your devices.
Let’s get to it!
Why Should You Use A Raspberry Pi Temperature Monitor?
First things first, monitoring the temperature of your Raspberry Pi is essential to ensure the proper and safe operation of your Pi device. Overheating can cause your Pi devices to crash or freeze, and in extreme cases, can even damage the hardware!
By monitoring the temperature, you can take action to prevent overheating by adding cooling solutions like a CPU cooling fan or heat sink, or adjusting the workload on the processor.
Additionally, a temperature monitor can also help you optimize the performance of your Raspberry Pi by identifying any bottlenecks that may be causing the CPU to run hot.
Lastly, monitoring the temperature can also help detect potential hardware issues early, allowing you to take action before they cause permanent damage.
4 Ways To Monitor And Check Raspberry Pi Temperature
The four easiest ways to check your Raspberry Pi temperature are :
- By using the Raspberry Pi temperature monitor command in the Terminal
- Using Raspberry Pi OS Desktop
- Using Python script
- Using third-party tools like PiCockpit
Let’s talk about each method one by one.
How To Use The Raspberry Pi Temperature Monitor Command
The built-in command line tool “vcgencmd” allows you to check the temperature of the Raspberry Pi’s CPU by running the command “vcgencmd measure_temp” in the terminal.
Once entered, this command will return the temperature in Celsius, along with the “temp=” prefix.
For example, if the temperature is currently 60 degrees Celsius, the command will return “temp=60.5’C”.
To use this method, open the terminal on your Raspberry Pi and simply enter the command:
You can also create a script that runs this command at regular intervals and log the results to a file for further analysis.
For instance, if you want the Raspberry Pi temperature monitor command to update the reading every 2 seconds, use the following code:
Top Tip: It’s worth noting that this command only returns the temperature of the CPU and not other components like the GPU, Ethernet or USB Controllers, so you may want to use other methods to monitor the temperature of other parts of your Raspberry Pi.
How To Monitor Raspberry Pi Temperature Using Desktop
If you’re currently using the Desktop interface, you can monitor the temperature of your Raspberry Pi by adding a CPU temperature gauge to the panel where the time is displayed.
This lets you easily keep track of the core temperatures of your device while you perform other tasks.
To add the graphical Raspberry Pi temperature monitor to the panel:
- Right-click on the panel
- Select “Add item to Panel”
- Scroll down and find “CPU Temperature”
- Click “Add”
The temperature gauge should now be displayed on the panel. You can click on it to see the current temperature in Celsius or Fahrenheit.
Top Tip: You can also reposition the monitor icon, add more space between panel items, and adjust the warning temperature thresholds and colors by clicking on the icon and selecting “Temperature Monitor Settings”.
How To Monitor Raspberry Pi Temperature Using Python
The Raspberry Pi’s Gpiozero library includes a function to read the temperature of the CPU. You can use this function in a Python script to monitor the temperature. To do so, simply import the library to the top of your script by using the command:
And then read the temp into a variable by typing the following code:
Lastly, if you want to round off the number to one decimal place to make it more neat and tidy, add the following line:
Top Tip: After you have the temp value in the variable, you can print it to the screen, log it to a file, or even send it to a database.
How To Monitor Raspberry Pi Temperature Using Third-party Apps
There are several free third-party apps available like PiCockpit that can be used to monitor the temperature of a Raspberry Pi.
These apps usually provide a web-based interface that allows you to monitor the temperature of your Raspberry Pi remotely, as well as other system parameters such as CPU usage, memory usage, and network traffic.
To use a third-party app like PiCockpit to monitor the temperature of your Raspberry Pi, you will need to install the app on your Raspberry Pi and configure it to connect to the app’s server.
Here are the general steps to use PiCockpit to monitor your device’s condition:
- Install and set up the app on your Raspberry Pi by following the steps given in their official installation guide.
- Once the setup is complete, you will need to create an account on the PiCockpit website and sign in to the app.
- After you are signed in, you should be able to see your Raspberry Pi in the browser application’s dashboard (PiCockpit is free for up to 5 Pi devices). You can click on your Raspberry Pi to view more detailed information, including the CPU temperature.
- You can also set alerts and notifications to notify you when the temperature exceeds a certain threshold, or when the system experiences other issues such as high CPU usage, low memory, or network connectivity problems.
In addition to PiCockpit, other third-party apps can also be used for Raspberry Pi temperature monitoring such as:
- PRTG Network Monitor
These apps can be run on different operating systems and can be used to monitor the temperature and various other metrics of the Raspberry Pi.
Note that these steps may vary depending on the third-party app you use, but the general process of installing, configuring, and monitoring your Raspberry Pi’s temperature should be similar for every app.
Top Tip: It’s especially important to keep an eye on the temperature of your Raspberry Pi when using it for resource-intensive tasks such as gaming, crypto mining, Kubernetes, or machine learning because that’s when it’s most likely to heat up and cause irreversible hardware damage.
Do I Need A Raspberry Pi Temperature Monitor?
As you have seen, there are several ways that you can monitor the temperature of your Raspberry Pi without needing to resort to an external temperature monitor.
It would definitely be a fun project if you could think of a purpose. What would you use a temperature monitor with your Raspberry Pi for?
Frequently Asked Questions
What Temperatures Are “Too High” For Your Pi?
The safe operating temperature range for a Raspberry Pi can vary depending on the model, but most are designed to function properly within a temperature range of 0-60°C (32-140°F).
Generally, temperatures above 140-158 F (60-70 C) can cause the device to become unstable as it starts throttling its processing speed to protect itself, and temperatures above 194-203 F (90-95 C) can cause permanent damage to the device.
How Do I Keep My Raspberry Pi Cool?
If you notice that the temperature of your Raspberry Pi is constantly running high, consider taking the following steps to reduce the temperature:
– Increase the airflow around the device by using a case with better ventilation (or removing it altogether if it’s not needed) or adding a cooling fan like the ICE Tower.
– Reduce the load on the device by closing unnecessary programs and services, or by underclocking the CPU to make sure it runs at lower and cooler speeds.
– Lower the ambient temperature by moving the device to a cooler, more open and ventilated location or using a heatsink to dissipate and direct surrounding heat away from your device.
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