getting a list of open files versus PID nos.?

Chuck Robey chuckr at
Thu Dec 9 20:40:17 UTC 2010

On 12/08/10 17:54, Matthew Fleming wrote:
> On Wed, Dec 8, 2010 at 2:18 PM, Chuck Robey<chuckr at>  wrote:
>> I think, *maybe* that I have located what's been giving me all of those
>> machine lockups.  I was all ready to replace the mobo&  cpu when I noticed a
>> panic error of being out of open files.  The message suggested just adding
>> the ability for more open files, but if it's what I think it is, that would
>> only mean it would take longer to panic, but it would still be tossing
>> panics at me.
>> What I want to see is a list of all Pids and how many open files there are
>> associated with each Pid?  And maybe a "ps ax" list, so I can associate an
>> application with a pid.  I would set things up so it would do this every 15
>> minutes, and it might just point me at my real problem here.
>> Any idea what would be the best way to get a list of all openfiles versus
>> each open pid?  I would be happy to write up a python script to give me
>> application versus count of open files list, if I could start with that
>> files versus pids thing.
> This is what lsof is for.  I believe there's one in ports, but I have
> never tried it.

lsof was perfect, I couldn't remember that app-name, but it turned out I'd 
already had a copy built.  There were 3 candidates for having the most files open:

procname          Number of open files
========          ====================
firefox                   426
thunderbird              1342
enlightenment            2643

Are all of these excessive, or only one of them?  Any notion, or any known 
problem with any of these tree applications?  I'm perfectly willing to go on 
this by any vagrant memories you have hanging about.

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