I Think I Totally Screwed Up

I’ve been trying to improve my console skills, and have been pushing myself to learn as much as possible. I think I made a big mistake this time though.

I decided to “go for it” on a custom installation of php5, to see if I could pull it off. I created a new user, then created a new subdomain owned by that user so I wouldn’t mess up anything existing.

I have read this wiki article a few times: http://wiki.dreamhost.com/index.php/Installing_PHP5, and got started. I don’t think the process is failing or anything so far, but it dawned on me that I didn’t think to, or know exactly where to, put “nice” commands. So now, I’m the dude bogging down the box for everyone else as this stupid script continues to run.

I promise I would never intentionally do something to negatively impact DH, but wasn’t sweating it since so many people have posted “here’s the link to a custom PHP5 install script”. Maybe these commands are designed to be courteous to other processes.

If not maybe the wiki article should be updated just to serve as a warning to people like me… As I was typing this, I see that the script was mercifully killed. Should I contact someone to let them know I made a mistake in attempting this, so they know I meant no harm?

Thanks for any feedback and understanding. If there are any pointers or advice on cleaning up so as to have the least impact, I look forward to them. Thanks.


Heh! “Stuff” happens! I wouldn’t worry too much about it; that’s why DH 's procwatch kills stuff - so you don’t bork everyone else :wink: .

You are not alone on having that PHP5 script killed - there is an earlier thread on this forum where some poor guy fought with that for quite a bit.

Have you checked out the man page for nice?


Yes, I did check out man nice when setting up my awstats install. Then used it in my cron job

1 3 * * * nice -20 /usr/local/bin/perl /home... I never ran any script as big as the PHP5 install script though. Since it’s filled with successive commands, I am under the impression that I’d want to add “nice” to every “make” and “tar” command. There isn’t a way to make an entire script run as nice is there?


My impression is the same as yours, though I don’t know that every “make” and “tar” would need to be niced. I would probably try to just use it on the parts of the script that seem to take a long time.

That’s a good question, and I really don’t know the answer; maybe some *nix wizard out there can educate us both on that point :slight_smile:


In reply to:

There isn’t a way to make an entire script run as nice is there?

Pardon me – all these years and I still dunno how to quote properly! Good question here, I’d always assumed that child processes would inherit the nice priority of the parent. And then I realized that this has been an assumption on my part… So I went and found at least one source that affirms that thinking. I’m not a *nix wizard though and my search was too brief to pretend it should serve as conclusive evidence.

"The nice value only affects running processes, but child processes inherit the nice value of their parent. By default, processes that users start have a nice value of 20."

So I really don’t think you have to sweat adding nice to all the scripts system commands. But I’m curious to hear from an expert myself!


Get the process ID of your currently running shell by running a “ps” command like so:

$ ps PID TTY TIME CMD 14609 pts/2 00:00:00 bash 127 pts/2 00:00:00 ps $…this shows my currently running shell to be process ID 14609. Once I have this number then I can run a “renice” command on my shell:

$ renice +19 14609 14609: old priority 0, new priority 19 $For the duration of that shell session all spawned child procs should retain correct niceness. Note that positive numbers lower the priority (which makes the procs “nicer”).