Linux: Installing using apt

If you are using Linux and are relatively new to it, you might have come across kind and helpful people telling you to type a command like:

sudo apt install fancontrol

Or something similar. Though this is really helpful, I sometimes worry that people do not know what the command does, and so they do not really learn how to use these features generally. They just learn how to resolve this very specific problem.

So here’s a little bit of information about the command above, and ones like it.

First, I am looking to resolve a problem with my fan continually running on my PC when I boot Linux. When I boot Windows, the PC is silent unless it’s doing something taxing, but on Ubuntu Linux, it whirs continually.

I happen to know that there are two programs available named lm-sensors and fancontrol. You can find these programs in Terminal by typing:

apt search fan

This command searches the “Advanced Package Tool” (apt) for the word “fan”. The list is quite long, but amongst those packages are fancontrol and lm-sensors. We can install those using the following commands:

sudo apt install lm-sensors
sudo apt install fancontrol

sudo is short for “Super User Do” – do this as if you are an administrator.
apt is what we are super-user-doing.
install is a command within apt that installs the package.
lm-sensors and fancontrol are the names of the packages.

But how did I know this? Just type “apt” in Terminal and it will give you a list of its commands. It even gives a nice summary of the command:

apt is a commandline package manager and provides commands for searching and managing as well as querying information about packages. It provides the same functionality as the specialized APT tools, like apt-get and apt-cache, but enables options more suitable for
interactive use by default.

More fun can be had using apt-get, whose name should tell you all you need to know.

The fancontrol and lm-sensors programs I installed can be configured to check the temperature of your CPU and other components, and to control the fan so that it’s not too noisy if it does not need to be.

About the author

Code and Copy is a career, travel and general information website written by Gavin Ayling.
Gavin is a copywriter, software coder, and board gamer living in beautiful New Hampshire. He has been blogging since 2002 and has been a celiac since the early 1980s.
Gavin has traveled to over 40 countries and has lived in three countries on different continents.

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