burnMMX(1) a collection of programs to put heavy load on CPU

Other Alias

cpuburn, burnBX, burnK6, burnK7, burnP5, burnP6




These programs are designed to load x86 CPUs as heavily as possible for the purposes of system testing ("burn in"). They have been optimized for different processors. FPU and ALU instructions are coded in an assembler endless loop. They do not test every instruction. The goal has been to maximize heat production from the CPU, putting stress on the CPU itself, cooling system, motherboard (especially voltage regulators) and power supply (likely cause of burnBX/burnMMX errors). The programs produce no output, but signal hardware errors by a return code or (more likely) your machine locking up.
burnP5is optimized for Intel Pentium with or without MMX CPUs
burnP6is optimized for Intel PentiumPro, Pentium II & III CPUs
burnK6is optimized for AMD K6 CPUs
burnK7is optimized for AMD Athlon/Duron CPUs
burnMMXtests cache/memory interfaces on all CPUs with MMX
burnBXis an alternate cache/memory test for Intel CPUs


Burn testing is designed to make your computer glitch if it has hardware problems, so make sure that nothing critical is running and all critical data is saved back to the hard-drives. The best is to run it with filesystems mounted read-only. Note that root privileges are not required.

Run the desired program in the background, checking the error result. You'll may want to repeat this command for every processor you have in an SMP or HyperThreading system. For example,

    burnP6 || echo $? &

Monitor progress of cpuburn by ps. You can monitor CPU temperature and/or system voltages through ACPI or using the lm-sensors package if you system supports it. When finished, kill the burn* process(es). For example,

    killall burnP6


Report all bug to [email protected], for more information visit http://bugs.debian.org


cpuburn was written by Robert Redelmeier <[email protected]>