SENSORS-DETECT(8) System Manager’s Manual SENSORS-DETECT(8)
sensors-detect – detect hardware monitoring chips
sensors-detect [ –auto ]
sensors-detect is an interactive program that will walk you through the
process of scanning your system for various hardware monitoring chips,
or sensors, supported by libsensors, or more generally by the
lm_sensors tool suite.
sensors-detect will look for the following devices, in order:
· Sensors embedded in CPUs, south bridges and memory controllers.
· Sensors embedded in Super I/O chips.
· Hardware monitoring chips accessed through ISA I/O ports.
· Hardware monitoring chips reachable over the SMBus or more gen‐
erally any I2C bus on your system.
As the last two detection steps can cause trouble on some systems, they
are normally not attempted if the second detection step led to the dis‐
covery of a Super I/O chip with complete hardware monitoring features.
However, the user is always free to ask for all detection steps if so
is his/her wish. This can be useful if a given system has more than one
hardware monitoring chip. Some vendors are known to do this, most
notably Asus and Tyan.
–auto Run in automatic, non-interactive mode. Assume default answers
to all questions. Note that this isn’t necessarily safe as the
internal logic may lead to potentially dangerous probes being
attempted. See the WARNING section below.
sensors-detect needs to access the hardware for most of the chip detec‐
tions. By definition, it doesn’t know which chips are there before it
manages to identify them. This means that it can access chips in a way
these chips do not like, causing problems ranging from SMBus lockup to
permanent hardware damage (a rare case, thankfully.)
The authors made their best to make the detection as safe as possible,
and it turns out to work just fine in most cases, however it is impos‐
sible to guarantee that sensors-detect will not lock or kill a specific
system. So, as a rule of thumb, you should not run sensors-detect on
production servers, and you should not run sensors-detect if can’t
afford replacing a random part of your system. Also, it is recommended
to not force a detection step which would have been skipped by default,
unless you know what you are doing.
Frodo Looijaard and Jean Delvare
lm-sensors 3 September 2013 SENSORS-DETECT(8)