Use cpulimit to free up your CPU

The recommended tool for managing system resources on Linux systems is cgroups. While very powerful in terms of what sorts of limits can be tuned CPU memory disk IO network etc. configuring cgroups is non-trivial. The nice command has been available since 1973. But it only adjusts the scheduling priority among processes that are competing for time on a processor. The nice command will not limit the percentage of CPU cycles that a process can consume per unit of time. The cpulimit command provides the best of both worlds. It limits the percentage of CPU cycles that a process can allocate per unit of time and it is relatively easy to invoke.

The cpulimit command is mainly useful for long-running and CPU-intensive processes. Compiling software and converting videos are common examples of long-running processes that can max out a computer8217s CPU. Limiting the CPU usage of such processes will free up processor time for use by other tasks that may be running on the computer. Limiting CPU-intensive processes will also reduce the power consumption heat output and possibly the fan noise of the system. The trade-off for limiting a process8217s CPU usage is that it will require more time to run to completion.

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