Process Lasso Server Edition Quick Start

Process Lasso Server Edition can be deployed any number of ways, and this document suggests deploying the core engine (ProcessGovernor) as a service. Still, it also exposes the basic configuration.

Process Lasso Server Edition is required for all Windows Server edition variants. It is most commonly used on or by:

  • Terminal Server / Remote Desktop deployments
  • Citrix Farms
  • Server admins of all types
  • Multimedia production and streaming

Introduction

Process Lasso’s ProBalance algorithm dramatically improves system responsiveness in high CPU load situations, whether it’s a micro-lag, or a sustained load. We have demonstrated this in real-world and synthetic tests to the point that this is fact. It’s quite remarkable. This algorithm is ON out of the box, so you do NOT need to do ANY additional tweaking. In fact, we recommend that even technical users be careful with their custom adjustments, as you may inadvertently do more harm than good. Process Lasso, in it’s default configuration, is designed to do good and never do harm (one of our core principles). So, just install it, and let it run!

Package

Process Lasso was designed with server use in mind, and further to consume as few resources as possible. Towards that end it is highly modular, with the primary two executable components as follows:

  1. processgovernor.exeThe Core Engine

    • Responsible for applying process rules and keeping the system optimal with algorithms like ProBalance.
    • Can be installed as a service and can be run entirely by itself (without the GUI).
    • Entirely silent, only output is optional logging to a file.
  2. processlasso.exeThe Graphical User Interface
    • Graphical User Interface that enables the user set rules, view logs and control the core engine. It does NOT need to be running for the governor to be in effect.
    • Displays and maintains the system tray icon.

ProBalance and General

First, it needs to be noted that Process Lasso’s ProBalance truly is efficacious, one of the few tuning algorithms that can be so effectively demonstrated in both artificial and real-world tests, and the manual tweaks you can make are endless — though you shouldn’t need to make many, if any. However, Process Lasso, in addition to ProBalance acting by default to keep your PC or server responsive and uninterrupted, can be used to tweak CPU affinities and process priority classes. Just be careful not to take things too far, as you don’t want to do more harm than good.

Additionally, the newly improved in 2015 Gaming Mode will set your PC to a customized power plan that ensures the CPU is ready to execute code at any time. This is done by disabling certain power saving features of the CPU, such as core parking and CPU frequency scaling (down-clocking on idle). Other power profile automation, such as IdleSaver, can help you to still save power when you’re not using the PC.

Over the last 10 years, Process Lasso’s ProBalance has been tuned very well out of the box so it should ‘just work’. Seriously, so much time has been put into it’s development that we’re quite confident nobody could quickly replicate our success. It’s a very conservative and safe algorithm, with numerous criteria that must be met before it ever ‘kicks in’ to temporarily marginally reduce the priority class of background processes.

It really is amazing to see work when Sony Vegas is saving a file, or in so many other CPU-heavy applications. The difference in responsiveness is night and day.

One of the advantages of Process Lasso is that it has a stand-alone core engine (processgovernor.exe) that can be run as a system service. The GUI (processlasso.exe) is entirely optional. You can manually open the GUI when you need to reconfigure something, or check the status… or you can keep it running all the time.

Both the core engine and GUI are written in C++, compiled directly to native 32-bit and 64-bit editions for x86/64 CPUs. That means no .NET or other huge abstraction layers, so the code is as efficient as you’re going to find anywhere.

The end result is absolutely minimal overhead.

You’ll want to install the core engine (governor) as a service, an option presented during install for the Server Edition of the product, which is installed on all Windows Server variants, as the Process Lasso installer will always download the right edition. For PC workstations running normal Windows, the ability to run the core engine as a service is available in the Pro edition of the product and found in the Options menu. This is described below.

Licensing

ALL Servers will get Process Lasso Server Edition installed. This has a fully functional 30 day trial period. Server licensees get a complimentary set of workstation licenses they can use for their control PCs, or whatever they like.

ALL Workstations will get Process Lasso Workstation Edition installed. Now, this edition is pseudo-free (freemium). It never expires, though some advanced features (none of the critical ones), get disabled over time and a nag may appear when/if you open the GUI. See this page for details on the licensing restrictions of the free workstation edition.

Note that the installer will auto-download the correct edition if you try to install the wrong edition or bit-size, hence it always gets the appropriate edition installed.

Auto-Start and Other Config

When you install Process Lasso on any Windows Server variant you’ll automatically get the Server Edition of Process Lasso. For instance, if you were to try to install the workstation edition of Process Lasso, the installer would download the correct Server Edition. The same is true for Windows workstations, they always get the right edition of Process Lasso installed.

If your server or workstation is not connected to the internet, then be *sure* to get the correct bit-size and edition of Process Lasso. These links are prominently shown on the left side of Process Lasso download pages.

For Servers, you will have the following two pop-ups shown during install. For workstations, you can access them after install via the GUI by going to the menu item ‘Options / General / Reconfigure the way Process Lasso starts’.

The first of these dialogs instructs how to start Process Lasso and the core engine, ProcessGovernor. For users in ‘core mode’, you’ll need to set the GUI to start manually, so you can open it only when you choose. You’ll then want to set the core engine (governor) to start as a system service.
Advanced user note: You can alternatively decide to have the governor run as a system service in a specific user context.

WARNING:
This is the recommended configuration for *Servers*. For Workstations, it is NOT recommended to install the governor as a service, though you can do so if you wish. Certain interactive session data is not available when the governor is running as a service. For instance, it has no awareness of which application is in the foreground.

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Config file and log folder storage location

The next dialog will ask where the INI configuration file and logs are to be stored. When you select to install the governor as a service, it defaults to the %PROGRAMDATA% folder. For workstation installations, it will default to the %APPDATA% folder specific to each user.

Management Scope and Configuration Folder

Unattended / Silent Installation

First, as previously mentioned, make *sure* you have the installer that corresponds to your Windows type and bit-size. For instance, for a Windows 64-bit Server, you’d want Process Lasso Server Edition 64-bit. For a 32-bit Windows workstation, you’d want Process Lasso 32-bit. When ‘Server Edition’ isn’t apppended onto Process Lasso’s name, that means it is the regular workstation edition.

If you get the wrong edition, the silent install will try to download the right edition and fail to be silent.

Advanced users can opt to install the product with a single command by using a command line for the installer. It might look like this:

ProcessLassoSetup64.exe /S /gui_start_type=manual /governor_start_type=service

For a description of these, and other, command line options, see this page.

What to do after installation?

After installation, you have these choices:

  1. Sit back and relax, letting ProBalance do it’s job.
  2. Apply optimizations such as custom CPU affinities to get maximum performance or load-balancing. Individual use cases and environments will vary.

Be careful not to over-do optimization, sometimes you can do more harm than good! The ProBalance algorithm is safe and effective at helping keep your PC responsive during high CPU loads. It knows what it is doing, so you can at least count on it to do well, but it can’t work miracles of course.

How to Launch the Graphical User Interface from the Command Line

Starting in Process Lasso v8.8, you can launch the GUI by simply running ‘pl’ from any command prompt or directory. The full name is ‘pl.cmd’, but the .cmd can be omitted. The “/showwindow” switch can be added to immediately show the GUI, otherwise the first run will merely create the system tray icon, with the second actually opening the Process Lasso GUI.

pl.cmd

Responsiveness Metric

The system responsiveness metric shown by Process Lasso’s GUI (on the graph), and in various other locations, such as the CPUEater Demo and ProBalance Insights, is a direct measurement of how responsive the system is to user input. It is a quite elegant algorithm we conceived over a decade ago. You won’t find it anywhere else.

Can Process Lasso be installed on a PC without internet access?

Yes! Use and licensing does not require an internet connection, though it is preferred to do a one-time connection to activate the product. If you need to activate licenses without an internet connection, no problem! Visit our Contact Bitsum page and request an ‘offline keyfile’. These are provided to Server and Site licensees only, and can be used with the installer’s silent installation parameters for quick and easy deployment.