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I did a lot of reading and I think I can answer my own question now.

Here's an overview:

  1. Install and run general powersaving tools
  2. Use Thinkfan to control the fan speed
  3. Bonus question: How to reduce the minimum fan speed?

tbc...

3. Answer to a bonus question: How to reduce the minimum fan speed?

i.e. even the lowest fan RPM seems too high.

As I said, the meaning of level 0 through 7 and PWM 0 to 255 (i.e. the actual fan speed) is defined by the embedded controller. Thinkfan has nothing to do with that. If you want to change it, you need to hack your embedded controller.

Meaning - it's basically not possible.
Source: Thinkfan - sourceforge.net - Add one more fanspeedlevel to reduce noise

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Ad. 1, powertop added

I did a lot of reading and I think I can answer my own question now.

Here's an overview:

Writen by a non-savvy, kept simple. All of the tools mentioned here are available in Fedora repositories. No compilation, building from source etc.

  1. Install and run general powersaving tools
  2. Use Thinkfan to control the fan speed
  3. Bonus question: How to reduce the minimum fan speed?

tbc...

1. Install and run general powersaving tools

This alone may solve your fan/temperature problems to the extent you won't be interested in the rest of the article anymore.

TLP

powertop

su -c 'yum install powertop'
su -c 'powertop'
Use [Tab] key to switch to the 'Tunables' tab. Use [ENTER] and arrow keys to change all elements marked 'Bad' to 'Good'.
[Esc] to exit (powertop doesn't need to stay running in the terminal window)
The 'Overview' tab puts most active i.e. power draining processes on top of the list. A one stop place to immediatelly identify such processes!

3. Answer to a bonus question: How to reduce the minimum fan speed?

i.e. even the lowest fan RPM seems too high.

As I said, the meaning of level 0 through 7 and PWM 0 to 255 (i.e. the actual fan speed) is defined by the embedded controller. Thinkfan has nothing to do with that. If you want to change it, you need to hack your embedded controller.

Meaning - it's basically not possible.
Source: Thinkfan - sourceforge.net - Add one more fanspeedlevel to reduce noise

I did a lot of reading and I think I can answer my own question now.

Here's an overview:

Writen by a non-savvy, kept simple. All of the tools mentioned here are available in Fedora repositories. No compilation, building from source etc.

  1. Install and run general powersaving tools
  2. Use Thinkfan to control the fan speedspeed (no longer 'for Thinkpads only')
  3. Bonus question: How to reduce the minimum fan speed?

tbc...

1. Install and run general powersaving tools

This alone may solve your fan/temperature problems to the extent you won't be interested in the rest of the article anymore.

TLP

http://linrunner.de/en/tlp/docs/tlp-linux-advanced-power-management.html#installation
Simple. Just this installs it and does not require your further attention. Starts with your system and enables power-saving tweaks automatically. Check its status using the su -c 'tlp-stat'

powertop

su -c 'yum install powertop'
su -c 'powertop'
Use [Tab] key to switch to the 'Tunables' tab. Use [ENTER] and arrow keys to change all elements marked 'Bad' to 'Good'.
[Esc] to exit (powertop doesn't need to stay running in the terminal window)
The 'Overview' tab puts most active i.e. power draining processes on top of the list. A one stop place to immediatelly identify such processes!

powertop tweaks are not being remembered between computer restars. To make the changes permanent follow these instructions http://wiki.manjaro.org/index.php/PowerTOP_to_Optimise_Laptop_Power_Consumption or these https://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/Powertop

3. Answer to a bonus question: How to reduce the minimum fan speed?

i.e. even the lowest fan RPM seems too high.

As I said, the meaning of level 0 through 7 and PWM 0 to 255 (i.e. the actual fan speed) is defined by the embedded controller. Thinkfan has nothing to do with that. If you want to change it, you need to hack your embedded controller.

Meaning - it's basically not possible.
Source: Thinkfan - sourceforge.net - Add one more fanspeedlevel to reduce noise

I did a lot of reading and I think I can answer my own question now.

Here's an overview:

Writen by a non-savvy, kept simple. All of the tools mentioned here are available in Fedora repositories. No compilation, building from source etc.

Prerequisite: https://ask.fedoraproject.org/question/9478/how-to-easily-check-temperatures-and-fan-speeds/

  1. Install and run general powersaving tools
  2. Use Thinkfan to control the fan speed (no longer 'for Thinkpads only')
  3. Bonus question: How to reduce the minimum fan speed?

tbc...

1. Install and run general powersaving tools

This alone may solve your fan/temperature problems to the extent you won't be interested in the rest of the article anymore.

TLP

http://linrunner.de/en/tlp/docs/tlp-linux-advanced-power-management.html#installation
Simple. Just this installs it and does not require your further attention. Starts with your system and enables power-saving tweaks automatically. Check its status using the su -c 'tlp-stat'

powertop

su -c 'yum install powertop'
su -c 'powertop'
Use [Tab] key to switch to the 'Tunables' tab. Use [ENTER] and arrow keys to change all elements marked 'Bad' to 'Good'.
[Esc] to exit (powertop doesn't need to stay running in the terminal window)
The 'Overview' tab puts most active i.e. power draining processes on top of the list. A one stop place to immediatelly identify such processes!

powertop tweaks are not being remembered between computer restars. To make the changes permanent follow these instructions http://wiki.manjaro.org/index.php/PowerTOP_to_Optimise_Laptop_Power_Consumption or these https://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/Powertop

2. Use Thinkfan to control the fan speed (no longer 'for Thinkpads only')

Keep a separate terminal window with sensors running at all times! (see the prerequisite above)

WARNING:
HDDs / batteries will not survive as high temperatures as CPUs may. Make sure you monitor your HDD / battery temperature during thinkfan test run and abort the testrun using Ctrl+C key combination while having the terminal window with thinkfan running active

Thinkpad users may check here to see which sensor is for which device http://www.thinkwiki.org/wiki/Thermal_Sensors Others - I don't know. Please feel free to add the info.

su -c 'yum info thinkfan'
Note the version and download appropriate thinkfan version, extract the archive, just to be able to access the README file easily.
su -c 'yum install thinkfan'
Follow the instructions in the README file. Observe the warnings!

For a quick test run do sections:

(2.2a) Configure hardware interface (IBM/Lenovo Thinkpads) OR (2.2b) Configure hardware interface (any system)
(2.4) Test and install

As with powertop thinkfan requires additional steps for it to start during system startupo and use specified configuration.

3. Answer to a bonus question: How to reduce the minimum fan speed?

i.e. even the lowest fan RPM seems too high.

As I said, the meaning of level 0 through 7 and PWM 0 to 255 (i.e. the actual fan speed) is defined by the embedded controller. Thinkfan has nothing to do with that. If you want to change it, you need to hack your embedded controller.

Meaning - it's basically not possible.
Source: Thinkfan - sourceforge.net - Add one more fanspeedlevel to reduce noise