Tech Notes

Being Nice on a Linux Box – Process priority with ‘nice’ & ‘renice’

Problem (I had): Wanted to run a VirtualBox on a RHEL 4.7 Linux server which is shared by someothers. But as some other processes took more CPU, the VirtualBox performance was bad. So I wanted to increase the priority given to VirtualBox.

Solution (I found): VirtualBox can be given higher priority using nice command. Also renice command can be used to change the priority of a running process, which will also be useful.

nice -10 VBoxHeadless

Gives the VBoxHeadless process 1.5 times priority than the normal process, calculated as (20 – -10)/20 = 1.5

nice -20 make

Executes make at maximum priority.

renice +20 2222

Changes the priority of process 2222 to +20 (minimum priority).

renice -10 -p 13013

Changes the priority of a running process by specifying its process ID, where priority can be,

  • 1 to 20 : Runs the specified processes slower than the base priority.
  • 0 : Sets priority of the specified processes to the base scheduling priority.
  • -20 to -1 : Runs the specified processes quicker than the base priority.

References and further reading:

Tech Notes

Windows XP on Ubuntu using VirtualBox



I got my Compaq Presario V6211AU, preloaded with Windows Vista Basic. As I have never used a legal version of Windows and this is the first time getting a legal version for me, I decided to stick with the troublesome Vista. Most of you would have heard of the compatibility issues that would arise with Visa, I had much trouble in installing many software.

Recently I had to MatLab to do an assignment at university. But after reading something around online I understood that it is not going to work as only the MatLab R2007a only works ‘properly’ on Vista.


Running Windows XP inside Linux using VirtualBoxThought the problem is so long, solution is just simple. As I’m running a Ubuntu Studio as a dual-boot on my laptop, I decided to install Windows XP SP2 on VirtualBox, and install MatLab on it.

I followed the instructions on this page, and it worked perfectly for me. So some of you might have similar needs, so can give it a try when needed…!