The xargs utility allows to easily implement a process pool, where a constant pool of workers processes a list of jobs in parallel. We use the following example worker.sh:

1
2
3
#!/bin/bash
echo "Called worker with args $@"
sleep 2

The following call will run worker.sh 26 times, always keeping 5 processes running in parallel.

xargs -L1 -P5 ./worker.sh <<EOF
a 1
b 2
c 3
--extra d 4
e 5
f 6
g 7
h 8
i 9
j 10
k 11
l 12
m 13
n 14
o 15
p 16
q 17
r 18
s 19
t 20
u 21
v 22
w 23
x 24
y 25
z 26
EOF

The -L1 argument ensures that each line below <<EOF is taken as one set of parameters for worker.sh. The -P5 argument results in 5 processes.

An alternative would be to place the lines between <<EOF and EOF in a file args.dat, and call <args.dat xargs -L1 -P5 ./worker.sh



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