nice - Runs a command at a different priority
nice [-n priority] command [argument...]
nice [-priority] command [argument...]
The C shell has a built-in version of the nice command. If you are using the C shell, and want to guarantee that you are using the command described here, you must specify the full path /usr/bin/nice. See the csh(1) reference page for a description of the built-in command.
Interfaces documented on this reference page conform to industry standards as follows:
nice: XPG4, XPG4-UNIX
Refer to the
reference page for more information
about industry standards and associated tags.
Specifies how the system scheduling priority of the executed utility is adjusted. The priority argument is a positive or negative decimal integer.
The name of a utility that is to be invoked.
Any string to be supplied as an argument to the utility named
The nice command lets you run the specified command at a lower priority. The value of priority can range from 1 to 19, with 19 being the lowest priority. The default value of priority is 10.
[Compaq] If you have
superuser authority, you can run commands at a higher priority by specifying
as a negative number; for example,
command contains a built-in subcommand named
nice. The command and subcommand do not necessarily work the same
way. For information on the subcommand, see the
The nice command returns the following exit values:
An error occurred in the nice utility.
The specified command was found but could not be invoked.
The specified command could not be found.
To run a low priority command in the background, enter: nice cc -c *.c &
The following environment variables affect the execution of
Provides a default value for the internationalization variables
that are unset or null. If
is unset or null, the corresponding value from the default locale is used.
If any of the internationalization variables contain an invalid setting, the
utility behaves as if none of the variables had been defined.
If set to a non-empty string value, overrides the values of
all the other internationalization variables.
Determines the locale for the interpretation of sequences
of bytes of text data as characters (for example, single-byte as opposed to
multibyte characters in arguments).
Determines the locale for the format and contents of diagnostic
messages written to standard error.
Determines the location of message catalogues for the processing
Determines the search path used to locate the
Commands: csh(1), nohup(1), renice(8)
Functions: nice(3), setpriority(2)