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I'm wondering, is there way to tell a process how much processor power it can take?

The problem is I'm converting video with Arista (video converter) and I'm annoyed by the fan running like crazy, when I look at the task monitor, it's taking over 92% of CPU.

Can I (somehow) tell it that it can take just 20%?

Thanks

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2 Answers

up vote 16 down vote accepted

There is cpulimit tool (also is present in debian repo and should be in other distros).

It's usage is pretty simple:

cpulimit -p PID -l MAX_CPU_LEVEL

You can also use process name, or full path to binary. Details you can find on the man page.

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ha-ha :) , works perfectly, thanks +1 –  equivalent8 Jun 18 '12 at 10:15
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The code at the noted URL has not been updated in quite some time. Another group has picked it up and continued development at limitcpu.sf.net. –  James Sneeringer Jun 18 '12 at 17:14
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Another way is by using the (relatively) new kernel interface called cgroups (wikipedia article here). It allows more fine grained control of how much cpu/memory/io/etc a process/user/group is allowed to consume.

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