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Controlling # Processors Used by MathKernel?


We're running Mathematica 8.0.1 on Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5.7. This
is an HPC cluster environment, so most folks run Mathematica scripts
in batch using the format  math -script example.m

My usersr are not doing explicit Parallel programming yet, but I've
noticed that some mathematica scripts, when run, take up all all of
the cores available on a machine, i.e. - a top command will show
MathKernal using 800%
on an 8 core machine.

Is it possible to tell Mathematica how many cores it's restricted to
on a machine, rather than having it grab them all?

I've tried adding

Unprotect[$ProcessorCount];ProcessorCount=2;

to my initfile- no difference. I've also tried adding that to the
start of the script, to no effect.

If anyone's been able to do this, I'd appreciate knowing how.

Thanks,

Mark



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