file descripter leak in current with Qmail?

David A. Benfell benfell at
Mon Jun 7 15:09:57 GMT 2004

Hello all,

I'm running current, with qmail and spamassassin.

Having finally caught on to the new kernel build process (ahem), I'm
now having problems with the qmail UIDs (mostly for qmaild but
occasionally qmails) exceeding the openfiles limit.

When I used sysctl to interrogate kern.openfiles, it said 1836.  I
have not altered the default maximum.  When I shut down qmail, it
promptly dropped to something like 180.  When I restarted qmail, it
went back up to something like 194 but system responsiveness dropped
through the floor.  In basically the time it's taken me to write this
much, kern.openfiles has climbed to something like 261.

So I guess I have a couple of idiot questions to ask here:

Is the kern.openfiles limit something (relatively) new?  I was running
current before on this box but hadn't gotten through a build because I
hadn't caught on to the new kernel build process since before 5.2 was
released.  Qmail was not a problem before.

Is the correct response to this problem to raise the limit?  If so, I
presume this would be done in rc.conf; what would be the corresponding
variable in rc.conf?

In the time I've composed this far, system responsiveness seems to
have returned to normal and kern.openfiles has dropped to something
like 221.  So I assume the responsiveness issue had to do with qmail
trying to catch up.

I'm in between quarters in school right now, so I have a little time
to play with this if needed.

David Benfell, LCP
benfell at
Resume available at

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