Over the last few days, I’ve posted several articles about working with Arch Linux on the Raspberry Pi. As mentioned in one of those posts, I overclock all of my Pis. Today I received a couple of emails from readers asking how to overclock their Raspberry Pis and how to confirm that the speed changes are working. So, I’ll take a quick minute to explain all of that now.
WARNING: Before continuing, be warned that overclocking your Raspberry Pi can cause it to stop working. It is advised to create a backup image of your SD card before continuing.
Note: As mentioned in the previous articles, these instructions are for Arch Linux.
Before you make any changes to your system, make sure that all of its packages are up to date. You can do that by running:
If this is the first time you’re updating your Pi, you’ll probably receive a lot of messages asking you to confirm that you want to replace certain packages. If you’re like me and don’t want to manually confirm all changes, you can append “–noconfirm” to the end of the command above like so:
pacman -Syu –noconfirm
After you have updated your system and rebooted, run the following command to open your configuration file in an editor:
Scroll to the very bottom of that file and you will see settings like the following:
You will see presets for None, Modest, Medium, High, and Turbo. Just uncomment (remove the leading # character) from the settings you wish to use. Then, press Ctrl+X, type the letter “Y”, and press enter. This will save your changes and close the config file. After that, just type “reboot” and press enter to restart your system with your changes in place.
Once your Pi has restarted, you can run the following command to see what the maximum speed of your CPU is now set to:
You can also run the following command to see what the minimum speed your CPU is set to. Keep in mind that this is the speed that your CPU will run at until it has a heavy load. Once it’s doing some serious CPU work, it will jump up to the max speed shown above.
When your CPU is doing a lot of work (or just whenever you feel like it), you can run the following command to see what your CPU speed is running at at that very moment:
You can also run the following command to get a quick view of your CPU’s settings:
Note: After you update your system using the pacman command above, you’ll probably run into an issue where you can no longer login remotely via SSH with “root”. By default, SSHD now disables root remote access. To get around this, run the following command to open the sshd_config file in nano:
Scroll down until you see the “Authentication” section. Just under that, you’ll see a value for “PermitRootLogin prohibit-password” which is commented out (it has a # character in front of it). Create a new line with the following:
Then, press Ctrl+X, type “Y”, and press enter. This will save your changes and close the file. Next, run the following command to restart the SSH daemon. Once it has restarted, you should now be able to remotely login as root again.
systemctl restart sshd
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