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I have quite a few login items on my Mac, mostly Apps that I want to have idling in the background (like Tweetbot or Reeder), but that I don't use immediately. I would like to give these Apps an initial niceness of -20, since I care more about a snappy system start than Apps that I don't use right away (but still want to have started automatically with the system). However, after some time they should automatically be reniced to 0.

Is there any way to achieve this with login items? I know that you can give launch daemons an initial niceness (but you have to manually renice them). I suppose it's also possible to write a script that sets the niceness of some Apps to -20 on system launch, but I would prefer a cleaner ans easier to maintain way to achieve this.

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These processes will be practically idling all the time, so I don't really see what you are trying to accomplish here? – Gerry Dec 1 '12 at 10:00
@Gerry Indeed they will, but they still slow down the system start by performing a lot of I/O and networking on startup (Tweetbot and Reeder were just two examples of background idle apps). I want them to idle, and I want them to autostart, but I don't want them to slow down system starts. – JustSid Dec 1 '12 at 10:02
What does nice do for I/O and networking? What I'm trying to say is that you are not going to notice any difference by giving these processes a lower priority at first. I'm sure a cold boot without these apps automatically starting up at all is not going to be noticeably faster than one with them. – Gerry Dec 1 '12 at 10:07
@Gerry I tried a cold boot without autostart apps (same account, just without login items), and it is much faster! I'm not sure if a niceness of -20 is actually going to help, but at least in theory it does throttle I/O and networking by a lot (and as far as I can tell that's what's slowing down the system start) – JustSid Dec 1 '12 at 10:11
up vote 3 down vote accepted

Rather than using nice, you might be interested in an app that lets you delay the launch of certain apps for a few seconds after startup.

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This is an awesome idea, thanks a lot for the suggestions! – JustSid Dec 5 '12 at 17:40

Great idea by flackshak! Following the idea of a delayed launch of the apps after start here are some other possibilities which come to my mind.

  • maybe you can write a script
  • or use some app like Keyboard Maestro
  • or a Apple script/shell script

for a delayed start of your background idling apps.

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Give this a try: DelayedLauncher

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