cpulimit: You figure out why

I have another one of those programs that I’m not really sure why I would need it.

I can see the how, and I know the what, but the why eludes me. Regardless, this is cpulimit.


I get the general gist: cpulimit chokes the CPU usage of a process. I did my best to show it in action there, but Firefox had already loaded the page by the time the screenshot snapped.

It did stay under 50 percent, which was the limit I gave it. Whether that’s because of cpulimit or because of dumb luck, I can’t say.

So best I can tell, it works. I know what it’s for, I know how to use it.

But I honestly am not sure when I would put this to use. The home page says batch processing, but usually I’m trying to power through my batch processing, not limit it.

Oh well. There are many things about computers that I don’t understand. I can add one more to the list and it won’t make me feel like less of a person. 😉

5 thoughts on “cpulimit: You figure out why

  1. Curtis

    It seems like it would be more portable to simply use nice and ionice to ensure that whatever process is not saturating all resources… no?

    1. K.Mandla Post author

      I’m not sure. I suppose it would be possible to compare how the two work, but that might be a question to ask cpulimit’s author. Perhaps cpulimit does some things that wouldn’t be possible with just (io)nice … ? 😐

  2. mcov

    I rarely open chrome, but when I do, I always run it at 90% with cpulimit. I think it has some driver issue, occasionally when loading a page, something triggers it and the CPU usage shoots up to 100% almost instantly, everything freezes and I have to do a hard reset. With cpulimit I’ve at least been able to switch to another tty and kill it.

    1. K.Mandla Post author

      My only other thought was … a long time ago it used to be necessary to throttle the CPU to run some applications that were carried over from DOS into Windows.

      For example, without some sort of speed control, some old DOS games became terribly unplayable.

      These days it seems programs either take into account CPU speeds and time themselves against future upgrades, or in case of emulators, have a provision for scaling back the speed.

      Otherwise, it would be things like your Chrome example where cpulimit would be useful. I’m still thinking about this one though. … 🙂

  3. Jakub Draganek

    Personally I found it very useful for old application written poorly in ANSI C without proper delays, etc. It consumed all GHz’s of my modern CPU and cpulimit easily solved that problem simply by limiting cpu usage to 10% 🙂

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