Being Nice on a Linux Box – Process priority with ‘nice’ & ‘renice’

Problem (I had): Wanted to run a VirtualBox on a RHEL 4.7 Linux server which is shared by someothers. But as some other processes took more CPU, the VirtualBox performance was bad. So I wanted to increase the priority given to VirtualBox.

Solution (I found): VirtualBox can be given higher priority using nice command. Also renice command can be used to change the priority of a running process, which will also be useful.

nice -10 VBoxHeadless

Gives the VBoxHeadless process 1.5 times priority than the normal process, calculated as (20 – -10)/20 = 1.5

nice -20 make

Executes make at maximum priority.

renice +20 2222

Changes the priority of process 2222 to +20 (minimum priority).

renice -10 -p 13013

Changes the priority of a running process by specifying its process ID, where priority can be,

  • 1 to 20 : Runs the specified processes slower than the base priority.
  • 0 : Sets priority of the specified processes to the base scheduling priority.
  • -20 to -1 : Runs the specified processes quicker than the base priority.

References and further reading:

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