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Setting "nice" and "fast-io" - AirVPN connection started as a service

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I've added the following directives to my openVPN client configuration file in order to maximise the VPN throughput on my Ubuntu 16.04 based VPN router/gateway.


nice -20

Starting my VPN with sudo service openvpn restart, initiates the VPN correctly, but the "nice" directive isn't applied. Relavent lines of log are below.

Feb 14 12:30:09 srvbuntu ovpn-airvpn[23065]:   nice = -20
Feb 14 12:30:09 srvbuntu ovpn-airvpn[23065]:   fast_io = ENABLED
Feb 14 12:30:09 srvbuntu ovpn-airvpn[23067]: WARNING: nice -20 failed: Operation not permitted: Operation not permitted (errno=1)

If I start the VPN from the CLI using "sudo openvpn airvpn.conf" the "nice" directive is implemented:

Tue Feb 14 12:37:25 2017 us=588423 nice -20 succeeded

What is preventing the nice directive from being followed when I start it as a service?


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Would it be possible to elaborate? I can elevate it's priority as root, and using the basic AirVPN file the process runs as the root user (can't drop its privileges).

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You have to adjust your permissions in /etc/security/limits.conf


See examples here:



Thanks zhang. although your were incorrect, you did point me in the right direction. systemd ignores /etc/security/limits.conf, but you pointed me in the right direction.


For systems using systemd, you set capabilities for a service in /usr/lib/systemd/system/openvpn@.service. I achieved what I needed to by adding " CAP_SYS_NICE" to the line beginning "CapabilityBoundingSet="

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