Getting tar to play nice

Subject: Getting tar to play nice
From: Gawain Reifsnyder (
Date: Thu May 31 2001 - 10:35:24 MDT

I'm backing up a bunch of large files on a running server using tar
with the -z flag to gzip the archive, and using nice to lower the

nice -n 10 tar -czvf honkingbackup.tar.gz file1 file2...

The priority of the tar process is lowered, but the gzip process
appears to proceed at full steam, hogging the cpu.

I tried doing the tar/gzip operation in two steps, but that seems
like a kludge, especially with large files that might fill up my
drive before being gzipped.

Is there a better way to lower the priority of both processes?

This archive was generated by hypermail 2a24 : Thu May 31 2001 - 09:41:28 MDT