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render to background using python

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I'm trying to provide an option to render to background so my artists can continue working on their shots Houdini.  Currently in my OTL I am calling hou.hipFile.save() then proceed to trigger the render in background option in my mantra rop.  hou.node(node.path()+'/render/render').parm('executebackground').pressButton() 

Despite saving the file, when the render executes, I receive an error telling me to save the file.   Is there a better way to approach this?

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