When I run the command, other critical programs fail to respond causing
an 'outage-like' situation.

Normally, this is a time-of-day task and will run happily later into the
night, but I want to run it now.

What is the best way to set priority on my task in order to ensure it
completes as quickly as possible, but does not cause a situation where
other programs and their children can't respond?

generally single program could not make that - FreeBSD schedules tasks well. in certain cases it may be like that.

For example - programs that runs for long time constantly and uses CPU gets automatically "downgraded" so your newly run backup task can make them really out of CPU power.

man nice

will help you - get your backup program priority down.

Actually i don't know if "downgrading" (called autorenice) can be disabled for certain processes. If would make sense for - say - database servers.

Anyone know?
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