Limiting the resources of Ubuntu

October 2016

Limiting resources of specific processes under Ubuntu

On Ubuntu (and on most Linux distributions) you can easily prevent a program to consume all the power of the computer. Here's how:

Limit CPU usage

If an application uses the CPU at 100%, this could block everything. You can limit the process with the cpu limit command. Open a terminal and type:
cpulimit -e process -l 40

In this example this "process" will be limited to 40% maximum.
You can also use the process PID (which can determine top):

cpulimit -p 130 -l 40

There the process with PID 130 would be limited to 40%.
We simply open the program then set the limit.
It may be that you have to install cpulimit before. Refer to your distribution for that. The official website is

Restrict disk access

  • If an application is using excessive disk drive, the system may crash, You can use the ionice command to solve this issue.
    • ionice -c3 PID 
  • This command reduces disk access priority of a process (defined by its PID).
  • We simply open the program then set the limit.
  • Again it must be installed if it is not. (official site?)

Limiting bandwidth

A good thing is to limit the bandwidth (upload and download).

With Tickle

  • The command to be used is trickle. Close program and then launch the command:
    • trickle -d 90 program
  • The program will be limited to 90Kbps for download. To limit upload, use the option "-u":
    • trickle -u 90 program
  • Here, the program is closed, and is limited from the start. To remove the limitation you must close and re-open it.
  • Again, you may need to install trickle if it is not set up by default.

With Wget (single file)

If you want to download just a single file, you can use the basic but powerful wget:

wget --limit-rate=90k http//

Related :

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