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I am not asking how to nice and renice a command on UNIX.

What happens is that on a particular machine into which I frequently log I am only allowed to run long-running processes with low priority (nice 19). Is there a way for all my commands on this machine to run as if I had "niced 19" them?

Inevitably I forget to prefix the command with "nice 19" when I start it, then need to go muck around in ps/top to locate the pid of my resource-hogging process and then renice it. Too much trouble, and I risk annoying the sysadmin; is there a way to do this by default?

many thanks! ~l

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migrated from stackoverflow.com Jul 21 '10 at 0:35

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It sounds like this is a sysadmin type question, about using an operating system rather than programming. It may be better suited for superuser.com. –  JAL Jul 21 '10 at 0:31

4 Answers 4

up vote 3 down vote accepted

Assuming Bash, if your system supports this feature, place this in your ~/.bashrc or ~/.profile:

ulimit -e 19

You can try it from a command line first as a test.

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thanks, that did the trick! –  laramichaels Jul 22 '10 at 3:03

You might ask your sysadmin to look into adjusting limits.conf, a configuration file that is part of PAM and is located (on my Ubuntu system) in /etc/security.

A line like

@users hard priority 19

sets the default 'niceness' for processes started by user accounts.

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This answer assumes your shell is bash.

Rather than mucking about in ps or top, just suspend the process(es) with Ctrl-z if they weren't launched that way (via &), and then run jobs -l to get a pid, renice that pid, and then continue the job's execution via bg (for BackGround) or fg (ForeGround).

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Have you tried verynice? It's a bit old but still seems to be a program that might be excellent for your needs.

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