GKraken Makes It Incredibly Easy To Manage NZXT Water Cooling Setups On Linux

Written by Michael Larabel in Hardware on 17 December 2019 at 03:30 AM EST. 7 Comments
With most all-in-one water cooling setups I am used to seeing no Linux support at all either from the vendor themselves or any third-party/community reverse-engineered support, but in the case of the NZXT Kraken X series with the independent GKraken open-source software is easily the best experience I've had to date in managing water cooling setups from the Linux desktop.

Sent out as part of the AMD Ryzen Threadripper 3960X / 3970X review kit was an NZXT Kraken X62. It works well and obviously just needs power to function, but after all the Threadripper 3 launch material was out of the way, I recalled writing last year about GKraken as one of the few tools for managing water cooling setups on Linux and specifically focused on the Kraken X series.

I tried it out for curiosity sake and was quickly impressed. GKraken has old versions available through Python's pip while these days it's primarily distributed via Flatpak on Flathub, making it very easy to obtain in a cross-distribution manner.

Launching the GKraken Flatpak'ed copy, I was immediately presented with the fan RPM and pump details on the liquid temperature and pump RPM. Besides being able to monitor this data, GKraken does allow adjusting the fan and pump profiles for silence, performance, or a fixed rate.

I have been running the NZXT Kraken X62 to cool the Threadripper 3970X, which has been working out well albeit a tight fight within a 4U chassis.

While the NZXT Kraken series pumps have a nice display, unfortunately GKraken still doesn't allow controlling the lighting/display of these AIO water cooling setups but it's simply "coming soon."

So at least for those not wanting to adjust the "bling" of the NZXT Kraken water cooling setups, GKraken is quite useful if wanting to monitor the fan/pump performance and adjusting their profiles independently -- which without GKraken would not be possible for Linux users.

Those wanting to dig deeper into this program can find GKraken on Gitlab. The NZXT Kraken X62 retails for $130~140 USD but this program also supports the slightly lower-cost X42 and X52 pumps plus the flagship X72.
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Michael Larabel

Michael Larabel is the principal author of Phoronix.com and founded the site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience. Michael has written more than 20,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and OpenBenchmarking.org automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter, LinkedIn, or contacted via MichaelLarabel.com.

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