With FreeBSD 11, the system behaves sluggishly while copying large amounts of files from the system partition to another hard drive. Any time an operation is performed (like opening a terminal) for which access to the system partition is necessary, lags up to a few seconds happen. Is there any way to avoid this, to deprioritize the HD access of the cp command? Renicing does not help.

  • 100 MB/s is 800Mbps... Aug 26, 2017 at 12:29
  • 3
    AFAIK 100MB/s sequential read/write is quite decent for spinning drives. Wouldn't be too surprised either if it slows down system response if one of the drives is also the system drive.
    – Tom Yan
    Aug 26, 2017 at 12:36
  • 1
    You don't need nice, but ionice
    – Philippos
    Sep 5, 2017 at 7:14
  • @Philippos ionice does exist under FreeBSD???
    – viuser
    Sep 9, 2017 at 17:07
  • Possible duplicate of What to do when "nice" isn't good enough (FreeBSD)
    – Philippos
    Sep 11, 2017 at 7:18

1 Answer 1


Try looking at idprio and set cp to an idle time priority to run when no other tasks are waiting to be run. Read the idprio manual for potential caveats.

There may also be some tweakable filesystem options depending on what filesystem you are running.

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