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Manual Pages  — NICE


nice – execute a utility at an altered scheduling priority



nice [-n increment] utility [argument ...]


The nice utility runs utility at an altered scheduling priority, by incrementing its "nice" value by the specified increment, or a default value of 10. The lower the nice value of a process, the higher its scheduling priority.

The superuser may specify a negative increment in order to run a utility with a higher scheduling priority.

Some shells may provide a builtin nice command which is similar or identical to this utility. Consult the builtin(1) manual page.


The PATH environment variable is used to locate the requested utility if the name contains no ‘/’ characters.


If utility is invoked, the exit status of nice is the exit status of utility.

An exit status of 126 indicates utility was found, but could not be executed. An exit status of 127 indicates utility could not be found.


Execute utility 'date' at priority 5 assuming the priority of the shell is 0:

    nice -n 5 date

Execute utility 'date' at priority -19 assuming the priority of the shell is 0 and you are the super-user:

    nice -n 16 nice -n -35 date


The traditional increment option has been deprecated but is still supported.


builtin(1), csh(1), idprio(1), rtprio(1), getpriority(2), setpriority(2), renice(8)


The nice utility conforms to IEEE Std 1003.1-2001 ("POSIX.1").


A nice utility appeared in AT&T v4 .

NICE (1) February 24, 2011

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