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I have made some BASH scripts which take 24 to 48 hours to completely run on my netbook. They mostly make use of sed and awk and are constantly editing some files. If I run these for such a long time, could it cause damage to my laptop or for my laptop hardware to age more quickly?

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How CPU intensive are the scripts? – iglvzx Mar 17 '12 at 1:42
How can I measure the CPU intensity? I am using Debian. – Village Mar 17 '12 at 1:43
You can watch CPU usage with the top command or the included System Monitor/Task Manager. – iglvzx Mar 17 '12 at 1:57
I checked in top, and from the CPU column, I see that sed constantly jumps between 10% CPU to 50% CPU. The number constantly changes to various numbers between. I do not know if that number will change after much use, but the scripts are while loops that repeat similar commands. – Village Mar 17 '12 at 2:26

They can't cause any hard that wouldn't be caused by running your laptop with any software for that period of time. There is nothing special about shell scripts that will cause trouble.

Can you safely run your laptop that way? Impossible to say, generically, though your manufacturer might be able to help you figure out the answer.

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If your Netbook has an early ssd or is running (and writing to) some kind of flash memory like an SD or CF card, then the constant read/writes could "wear out" that area of your flash memory in say about, um, 5 years. Computers were meant to be used!

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