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I generate more than 50GB of cache files on my RHEL server (and typical file size is 200kb so no of files is huge). When I try to delete these files it takes 8-10 hours.

However, the bigger issue is that the system load goes to critical for these 8-10 hours. Is there anyway where I can keep the system load under control during the deletion.

I tried using

nice -n19 rm -rf *

but that doesn't help in system load.

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Ask over at for a better chance of a good answer – Nifle Mar 27 '10 at 9:57
Is this a personal server at all? – random Mar 27 '10 at 10:01
Actually not a personal server, but I thought the nature of the question fitted this forum more, as I am more of the super user rather than a sysadmin. – Sanjay Mar 28 '10 at 11:55

You might give ionice a try.

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Looks good so far. – Sanjay Mar 28 '10 at 11:50
Didn't work. It is also increasing the load to 6 – Sanjay Mar 28 '10 at 12:31

If you're referring to the load as provided by top and uptime, then that's simply a count of the number of processes that want CPU time, it's not necessarily meaningful by itself.

Looking at "top" to tell you what's actually using the CPU time and whether your system is, say, waiting on I/O will help you work out what's going on.

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When the system load in top is greater than 7, I see a definite decrease in the server performance. How can it be none meaningful? And if it is not meaningful, tell me a better way to judge system load. – Sanjay Mar 28 '10 at 11:54
Load is a very old measure of system load. A high load value by itself doesn't mean anything - I've had dual core systems with loads of over 30 that have functioned well. You need to look at what the actual cause of the "load" value is. In your case that's probably I/O wait. – Cry Havok Mar 28 '10 at 18:48
There is lots of disk I/O happening on my server. And any additional process needing disk I/O I add, such as this rm process, increases the system load considerably and makes my server stop responding. That is why I was looking for a way where such process are low priority and doesn't impact the system. What do you suggest for this issue? (Other than changing the hardware). – Sanjay Mar 29 '10 at 9:25

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