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Monitor the CPU temperature of your Raspberry Pi

Raspberry Pi CPU Temperature icon

Time needed: 2 minutes.

In this tutorial you’ll learn how you can easily and continuously monitor the CPU temperature of your Raspberry Pi. After completed this tutorial, you will have a temperature icon installed on your Pi’s desktop.

For this tutorial, you need to have your Raspberry Pi running on the latest version of Raspberry Pi OS.

  1. Right click on the task bar on the top of your screen and select “Add / Remove Panel Items”

    Raspberry Pi OS Panel Items
    A Window called “Panel Preferences” will apppear.

  2. Select the tab “Panel Applets”. And click on the “Add” button to open a new pop-up window.

    Raspberry Pi OS CPU Temperature Monitor
    You should see a list of all available plugins.

  3. Among the items in the list, Select “CPU Temperature Monitor” and click on the “Add” button.

    Raspberry Pi OS CPU Temperature Monitor

That’s it! Now you can easily monitor the CPU temperature. It should appear in the right top corner of your desktop.

Raspberry Pi OS CPU Temperature Monitor icon

An alternative temperature icon

Below you can see how to select an alternative plugin which also indicates the CPU temperature. Up to you to choose the one you prefer.

Raspberry Pi OS Temperature Monitor

Change the position of the temperature icon

It’s possible to arrange the positions of the icons on your Task Bar. To do this you have to select the icon and click one or several times on the “Up” button to move the icon to left.

Raspberry Pi OS Change the icon position

Setting the preferences of the temperature icon

It’s also possible to change the preferences from the temperature plugins. To do this, you have to select the icon and click on the “Preferences” button.

Raspberry Pi OS Change the icon preferences

Getting your Pi’s CPU temperature with the Terminal window

In the case you just want to measure the CPU sporadically, you can use following command in a Terminal Window :

vcgencmd measure_temp

Raspberry Pi CPU temperature command

Great! Now you are able to easily follow up your CPU temperature and take action if necessary!

What’s a good maximum temperature of the CPU of the Raspberry Pi 4 to target?

Just keep in mind that for a Raspberry Pi 4 as soon as the CPU temperature reaches 80°C or more, the CPU will start to throttle. The throttling will avoid overheating of the CPU but you’ll definitely lose performance. So it’s recommended to keep the CPU temperature below 80°C.

It’s possible to keep the CPU temperature below 80°C and prevent CPU performance losses, by placing heatsinks (see our tutorial), by using a well ventilated enclosure (visit our shop), or by installing a fan (see our tutorial).

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