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@zuazo's answer is very informative for pulseaudio specifically. For completeness, I'll note that in the general case, there are four circumstances that can cause a process not owned by root to have a high priority: The program being run is setuid-root, and gave itself the high priority and then changed its uid. The process has the SELinux capability ...


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PulseAudio requires higher priority than other desktop programs mainly to avoid latency problems and get a skip-free audio playback. But the process that allows PulseAudio to have a higher priority is rather complex. To get this special priority, it uses the RealtimeKit (rtkit-daemon) process. This D-Bus service allows some user programs to use real-time ...


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A list of non-zero CPU % processes: ps -eo pid,tid,class,rtprio,ni,pri,psr,pcpu,stat,wchan:14,comm --sort=+pcpu | awk '$8!=0.0 {print}' | awk 'NR>1' To count them ps -eo pid,tid,class,rtprio,ni,pri,psr,pcpu,stat,wchan:14,comm --sort=+pcpu | awk '$8!=0.0 {print}' | awk 'NR>1' | wc -l To see this continuously updated, but them in a file called ...



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