so what i did:
in the terminal i typed:

sudo su 

(used pass) then typed:

nano /etc/security/limits.conf

went to bottom and added:
USER - nice -20
(with my username not user and i spaced it properly)
then i restarted my comp, but it still didnt work

2 Answers 2


Reading this link, I think you need not issue the command as su. You can simply run the ulimit -a command.


Although reading the man page for ulimit, it says that this routine is obsolete and you should use getrlimit, setrlimit and sysconf instead.

  • ive followed the link you sent me, but when i go to the system monitor and try to change the niceness of things all i get back is an error: Cannot change the priority of process with PID 2190 to -20. Permission denied Nov 3, 2012 at 6:47
  • Did you try the getrlimit, setrlimit and sysconf commands? You'll need to read the man pages first. In a terminal, type man setrlimit then press the Enter key, and use the 'q' key to exit the man page. Nov 3, 2012 at 9:27
  • If it solved the problem, please accept it as an answer by clicking the tick symbol. Nov 4, 2012 at 10:11

The <item> you're looking for is priority which sets the default priority to run a user's processes with, not nice.

nice is the MAX nice priority allowed, not default.

I recommend using top or renice to change a process's priority for one time.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.