Huge (100k+) number of processes

Dan Nelson dnelson at
Wed Apr 26 14:50:43 UTC 2006

In the last episode (Apr 26), Andrew Pantyukhin said:
> On 4/26/06, Iantcho Vassilev <ianchov at> wrote:
> > On 4/26/06, Andrew Pantyukhin <infofarmer at> wrote:
> > > I was wondering if it's possible to run over 100k processes
> > > simultaneously on a FreeBSD box with sufficient amount
> > > of RAM (and CPU power).
> >
> > Sure,why not?
> The problem is that kern.maxproc=200000 line in /boot/loader.conf
> only raised the real value to 21576. Is that authoritative, or should
> I just try and run 200k processes? I only have 512Mb of RAM, and I
> wonder if it's enough to run 100k+ of, say, /bin/sleep?

Make sure you have enough RAM to cover those 100k processes.  There's
code that limits maxproc to physpages/12 ("Limit maxproc so that kmap
entries cannot be exhausted by processes").  You can try removing that
code, but each process does require a couple of private pages. 
Assuming 5 pages, you'll need 2 GB of RAM just for that overhead,
before you take into account any memory your application will allocate.

Are you sure you need 100k separate processes running?

	Dan Nelson
	dnelson at

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