I just bought a heat sink kit for my pi and I'm using Raspbian and would like to monitor the temperature continuously every 3 seconds via SSH while I perform tasks on the pi so that I don't have to keep manually entering in a command to display the current temperature, how do I do that?

3 Answers 3


I think using watch command is much easier, for example:

watch {your command}

In your case, it will be:

watch vcgencmd measure_temp

That will refresh by 2 seconds, if you want to define the interval by yourself (5 second maybe), you can type:

watch -n 5 <your command>

In your case, it will be:

watch -n 5 vcgencmd measure_temp

You can cancel that with Ctrl+C.

  • much more elegant and simple, thanks for the response
    – bsara
    Jan 3, 2017 at 16:47
  • the use of watch is new to me. very elegant.
    – tswaehn
    Sep 26, 2020 at 10:46

The command for viewing the current temperature is found in this post: https://raspberrypi.stackexchange.com/a/1847/22221

To automate this such that you can view the temperature every 3 seconds without entering new commands can be accomplished by writing a simple shell script that has an infinite loop:


echo "Press [ctrl+c] to end monitoring"
echo ""

while true
  vcgencmd measure_temp
  sleep 3s

Place that text in a file called monitor-temp and place it in ~/bin/ (if !/bin/ doesn't already exist, then just create it with mkdir ~/bin). Make monitor-temp executable: chmod 755 ~/bin/monitor-temp. End your terminal (or ssh) session and start a new one. Now you can run monitor-temp from any location in the file system via ssh or directly on the machine and you'll see something like the following:

pi@raspberrypi ~ $ monitor-temp
Press [ctrl+c] to end monitoring


If you want a few more bells as whistles, see the following script:


for count in $(seq 1 100); do
    echo -n "$(vcgencmd measure_temp | echo "$(sed -E 's/.*([0-9][0-9]\.[0-9]).*/\1/g')" | echo "$(xargs)*1.8" | bc | echo "$(xargs)+32" | bc | echo "$(xargs)'F / $(vcgencmd measure_temp | sed -E 's/.*([0-9][0-9]\.[0-9]).*/\1/g')'C")\r"
    sleep 3s

The main benefit of this script is that the line carriage is removed so that you don't overflow your terminal window with new lines. Additionally, the temperature in F and C is displayed.

Sample output:

94.1'F / 35.0'C

This will terminate after 100 checks but can easily be modified to run indefinitely if preferred.

I created the following alias for this script in my ~/.bash_profile:

alias temp="sh temp_script.sh"

NOTE: The removed carriages returns only works when executing via "sh" command (i.e. executing script via ./temp_script.sh does not respect the \r special character for some reason). Also, there is some redundancy in the echo command, but I made the tradeoff of having it be a one liner. Lastly, Fahrenheit conversion is a bit wonky and doesn't match up perfectly, although the input formula should be correct.

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