This page was moved from the Toolserver wiki.
Toolserver has been replaced by Toolforge. As such, the instructions here may no longer work, but may still be of historical interest.
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This page is obsolete: There is no longer any need to use the batch project when jobs are submitted using the job scheduling system. The previous content of this page is provided for historical interest.
On Linux, we encourage people to use nice for long-running processes. On Solaris, there is a different solution: the batch project.
A "project" is something like a group. By default, all processes start in the "default" project:
% id -p uid=1072(river) gid=100(users) projid=3(default)
You can start a process in a different project using the newtask command. To start a new process in the "batch" project:
% newtask -p batch zsh % id -p uid=1072(river) gid=100(users) projid=100(batch)
The difference between "default" and "batch" is that default has project.cpu-shares=100, while batch has project.cpu-shares=20. This means that if the CPU is fully loaded, tasks in the default project will be given 100 shares, while tasks in the batch project will only be given 20 shares for the same time period. Therefore short-lived and interactive processes get higher CPU priority.
Note that CPU shares are allocated to projects, not processes; this means that however many batch tasks are running, all of them will only get 20 CPU shares between them - not 20 shares each.
When used with cron, newtask is similar to nice; for example:
* * * * * newtask -p batch phoenix /home/user/someprogram python /home/user/program.py >/dev/null
To see which of your processes are in which project, you can use ps:
% ps -o uid,pid,project,args -u river UID PID PROJECT COMMAND 1072 552 batch zsh 1072 614 batch ps -o uid,pid,project,args -u river 1072 496 default /usr/lib/ssh/sshd 1072 502 default -zsh %
The newtask command can also be used to change a running process to the batch project. The syntax is
newtask -c <PID> -p batch