nice: It’s nice to be nice to the nice again

You know nice. We all know nice. nice lets you dedicate more processor muscle to an application, and hopefully get things done faster.


And that’s about it. A couple of things are worth mentioning, I suppose.

  1. nice takes a range of 19 to -20. Minus 20 is the highest priority, and 19 is the lowest.
  2. renice changes the value for a running process.
  3. You can adjust the niceness of an application with the -n flag.
  4. You can set lower and raise your own process between 19 and 0, but to push it higher (meaning, give it values less than 0), you have to have administrator privileges.

nice and renice are useful to a point, and that’s the last thing I wanted to note. It’s only going to do you good if the application is spending a lot of time on your processor.

If it’s writing to your hard drive or somehow bottlenecked by another component in your system, renice-ing it probably won’t make a difference.

In those cases, check ionice and other … nice … tools. 😉