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I would like to know how to make a program (Eclipse) always start with a lower 'nice' value.

I tried to manipulate ‘/usr/share/applications/eclipse.desktop’ - with no success.

Exec='nice -n -10 eclipse'

Here is the solution as described by 'geirha':

Step 1 - allow user to run nice on eclipse as root:

EDITOR=nano visudo -f /etc/sudoers.d/local_changes

# Last row must always be empty!

# Allow certain users to change 'nice' values
Cmnd_Alias SET_ECLIPSE_NICE = /root/

Step 2 - create the script that launches eclipse with nice -10:

nano /root/


 nice -n -10 sudo -H -u "$1" eclipse


chmod u+x /root/

Step 3 - edit eclipse launcher:

nano /usr/share/applications/eclipse.desktop

change Exec to:

Exec=sh -c 'gksudo -- /root/ "$USER"'
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up vote 2 down vote accepted

Remove the quotes.

Exec=nice -n -10 eclipse

Edit: though only the root user can set a niceness lower than 0, so

Exec=sh -c 'eclipse & gksudo -- renice -n -10 $!'

Or maybe better:

Exec=sh -c 'exec gksudo -- nice -n -10 sudo -H -u $USER eclipse'
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doesn't work, nice is 0 – Paradiesstaub Feb 25 '12 at 12:40
@Paradiesstaub ah right, only root can set a niceness lower than 0, so you have to renice it afterwards, as root. – geirha Feb 25 '12 at 12:51
Okay, your solution works for admin users. Now lets remove the pw dialog. I tried all the time to exit '/etc/sudoers.d/' → 'Cmnd_Alias SET_NICE = /usr/bin/nice -n -10 sudo -u tux eclipse'. This works too but only for one user. So maybe you can tell me a way how to remove the pw dialog or I find a generic way using sudoers.d – Paradiesstaub Feb 25 '12 at 13:16
@Paradiesstaub For that, write a wrapper script that does nice -n -10 sudo -H -u "$USER" eclipse, change the desktop entry to Exec=gksudo -- thatscript, and allow the users to run this script as root instead. – geirha Feb 25 '12 at 13:35
@Paradiesstaub err, I didn't think that through. The USER variable in that script will be root, so Exec=sh -c 'gksudo -- thatscript "$USER"' and use "$1" instead of "$USER" in the script. – geirha Feb 25 '12 at 13:42

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