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Any best practices on minimizing system performance impact during emerging?

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5 Answers 5

up vote 3 down vote accepted

You could always use a different system to do the hard work using distcc: http://www.gentoo.org/doc/en/distcc.xml

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you can set the variable PORTAGE_NICENESS in the file /etc/make.conf. it sums up a nice value to the emerge process, so that it has less priority on the system. for example:

PORTAGE_NICENESS=10

the above line, in /etc/make.conf, will make portage increment 10 to the default nice value for that process (this will not set the nice value to 10, it will increment that value).

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Apart from setting PORTAGE_NICENESS Use ionice to reduce impact on hard disk and reduce impact on user.

For example, for installing evolution I would do:

ionice -c3 emerge -av evolution
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Try cpulimit. It limits cpu usage per process. So, you can tell emerge to use only 10% of your cpu resources.

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@Mark's answer of using distcc sound sgood. Creating binary packages on another system and installing them on the high-load system might be an alternative approach to that one.

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