Control iBook G4 temperature with G4FanControl

Control your iBook G4 temperature

In this post I’ll tell you how you can control iBook G4 temperatures. If you have an iBook G4, you’ll probably have it for a very long time now. One thing that old computers tend to do, is get really hot. One thing you don’t want them to be, is hot.

A while ago, I was repairing an iBook G4 for a friend(and also did a cooling mod on it). After all the hassle that is described in the adove linked posts, I had to find a way to monitor the temperature, and preferably, control the fan speed.

Step 1: Get G4FanControl

G4FanControl is a very hard-to-obtain piece of software(partly because it’s so old). So I uploaded it, so you can download it here:

[EDIT]: Updated link, the old file somehow didn’t work anymore. Now with readme file included! :-)

G4FanControl download

G4FanControl lets you view the current temperatures of your components(Northbridge, CPU and GPU), but most important, it lets you set the temperature limit at which the fan kicks in.

Unfortunately, it’s an app you have to run in terminal. I’ll tell you how.

Step 2: Run it

First thing you do, is place the G4FanControl file in your applications folder(wherever, but I use the applications folder in this example). Then, open Terminal. Terminal is located in your Applications folder, in the subfolder Utilities. In the terminal window, type:

sudo /Applications/g4fancontrol –stats

Terminal will ask you for your password, so enter your password and hit enter. Your password won’t show, but that’s normal. G4FanControl will now run, generating the output as shown above. It will probe for temperature sensors, then show their current value(temperature), and below that, you see the temperature at which the fan will kick in. Note that the values don’t change because they are generated output, you’ll have to run the command again if you want to update the temperatures.

Step 3: Control iBook G4 temperature

Lower the temperature limit. You see that the current values are way to high to be good. 56 for your Northbridge is fine, but 75 for your CPU, and 85 for your GPU is a bit high. Here’s a pic with the values set to 40.

Control iBook G4 temperature by lowering the temperature limit.

The command for this is:

sudo /Applications/g4fancontrol –set 40

If you run the first command again, you should now see that the temperature limits are set to 40 degrees. You’ll have to find a value that works for you. For me 40 is fine, because I modded my cooling so that it stays cool. If your iBook idles at 45, you might want te set the temperature limit to 55 or even 60. I’d recommend 60 at most, because otherwise there is very little benefit over the normal values.

There are some other commands, you can view them by typing:

sudo /Applications/g4fancontrol –help

For example, you can set the limit for every sensor to a different value.

Important: The temperature limits are reset when you reboot your iBook. You’ll have to run G4FanControl again to set the values back to where you want them.

Here are some pic’s from iStat Pro. iStat Pro is a brilliant dashboard widget that monitors almost everything from your computer, also the temperatures and fan speed.

You can see that as soon as the temperatures get above 40, the fan spins up.

That was it! I hope you enjoyed, and maybe manage to keep you iBook alive for some longer now that is stays cooler. :-)

If you liked this post, want to ask something or whatever, please leave a comment.

[EDIT]: If it doesn’t work for some reason, try to go to the directory with terminal (cd /Applications for example), and then type ./g4fancontrol –stats. See the readme in the .zip file for more information.


18 thoughts on “Control iBook G4 temperature with G4FanControl

  1. I cant get it to work. I try the same commands given but I always get a command not found error. I tried it a couple different ways but nothing worked. Any help? My ibook g4 runs a little hotter then I would like. I don’t mind noise much so I would rather it run loud then hot.

      1. In applications and using the exact same command as pictured here. Tried it with caps, no caps and anything else. Any help is welcome as my ibook runs too hot for me and I don’t seem to notice the fan running. No noise or breeze from the vents. Given replaced it too.

        1. You still get the “command not found” error? That would imply that the application is not in the location where the command points to. One thing you can try, is changing the term inal directory to /Applications. To do so, type “cd Applications” without the quotes.Then, type “ls”(without quotes) to see all the files and folders in the directory. See if g4fancontrol is there. If it is, you should be able to run it like(without the quotes: “sudo g4fancontrol -stats”. If it isn’t in that directory, you found your problem. Hope this helps. :-)

          1. Well I tried different ways and finally got something different. I got it to say that it want there yet I moved to the app folder myself. Will have to try that way now. Just don’t understand it. Also never had a Mac OS machine outside of school so still have a bit to learn.

  2. I tried that way that was just suggested and got no such file and tried changing the spacing and such and still had no such file and also command not found. Had to do “cd /applications” for to change and “sudo /g4fancontrol -stats” gives command not found. “Sudo/g4fancontrol-stats” gives no such file found. Ibook g4 1ghz Mac OS 10.5.8. Just don’t understand it. Doing everything the same and no results.

      1. Yes. The file is shown in there yet i still command not found if I change the command a little I can get file not found but it is there. Tried downloading it a couple times and changing it out but still get the same thing.

        1. I see. I dug an old G4 mac mini out of a drawer, and did not quite find the issue, but I did find another download of the app that did work. When i tried to run the one I uploaded here it somehow didn’t work, it gave the same issue as you had. In the zip folder is an original readme file with instructions. :-) Link: :-)
          Hope it helps!
          [EDIT] I’ll update the link in the post or course….

          1. That read me helped a lot. I needed to add a period before the back slash. You should update instructions to help others out. I need to enter the command “sudo (PERIOD)/g4fancontrol –stats”. Now I can run my laptop nice and cool and now know that my fan is working. Thanks for helping!

  3. Yes, that is what to readme says… But when I look at my screenshots, I did just use the command “sudo /Applications/g4fanncontrol –stats”. So no idea why that worked back then and it doesn’t work for you now. Anyway, glad you got it sorted, and that you have a G4 still running. :-)

    1. Yep. You can update instructions with a line that says if it doesn’t work then try adding a period in front of the backslash. Thanks for the help!

  4. I’ve tried all the commands and I get to the point where it asks for my password I enter it and nothing happens it just loads back to square 1

    1. Could you show me a picture of the screen after you entered your password and hit enter? Link to flickr of instagramm or something like that ;-)

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