file: table is full.

Jez Hancock jez.hancock at
Sat May 31 11:25:05 PDT 2003

On Sat, May 31, 2003 at 09:31:16AM -0700, Hugo Saro wrote:
> Hi list,
> I have a fbsd server as a gateway on my home lan. It's
> running 4.7-STABLE , specs p200 mmx 80mb ram 2 hdd's
> .. it works fine , but I do get a regular (sort of)
> problem.
> When there's some problem with my ISP and dhclient
> keeps trying getting an IP, eventually when I get home
> i'll have lots of message spammed in the console, and
> ps w ls etc will say too many open files in system. I
> normally solved this by killing some processes,
> unplugging and plugging the network cables, and by
> killing dhclient. When it fired up again it would be
> working. But today i couldn't even kill because it
> said it couldn't open some .so (I'm sure they're
> there)
Try increasing the number of available file descriptors.  You can do
this dynamically at boot time using something like:


in /etc/sysctl.conf, 
which assigns a suitable number of file descriptors for 64 users - for
more info see 'man tuning' - but also increases various other kernel
flags as well.  

Make sure to check your current 'maxusers' sysctl setting - something

sysctl -a | grep maxusers

should work... also look at some of the other sysctl settings whilst
you're at it:

sysctl -a | grep file 


I get this on my system:

[19:15:37] munk at users /home/munk# sysctl -a | grep file
kern.maxfiles: 8168
kern.bootfile: /kernel
kern.maxfilesperproc: 7351
kern.openfiles: 751
kern.corefile: %N.core
kern.filedelay: 30
p1003_1b.mapped_files: 0

where my maxusers is set dynamically by the kernel (options MAXUSERS 0
in the kernel config file iirc), and at boot is set to 256.

Looking at the amount of ram you have though, be careful not to increase
the number of file descriptors too much otherwise you'll get a lot of
swapping out to disk going on.

In general however check your logfiles to see why so many file
descriptors are being eaten up.  For example I once used cronolog to log
httpd transfers and errors for around 300 users, and each cronolog instance
required 2 processes/file descriptors, meaning a total of 1200 file
descriptors just for logging!  The number of file descriptors soon maxed
out because the available fds wasn't enough.

Also see the manpage for 'fstat', which tells you about what files are
currently open on your system.


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