sysctl maxfiles

Aristedes Maniatis ari at
Sat Sep 27 09:05:14 UTC 2008

On 27/09/2008, at 1:02 PM, Jeremy Chadwick wrote:

> Anyway, I'd like to know why you have so many fds open  
> simultaneously in
> the first place.  We're talking over 11,000 fds actively open at  
> once --
> this is not a small number.  What exactly is this machine doing?  Are
> you absolutely certain tuning this higher is justified?  Have you  
> looked
> into the possibility that you have a program which is exhausting fds  
> by
> not closing them when finished?  (Yes, this is quite common; I've seen
> bad Java code cause this problem on Solaris.)

Well, there was a runaway process which looks like it is leaking fds.  
We haven't solved it yet, but the fact that the maxfiles per machine  
and the maxfiles per process were so close together was really causing  
us grief for a while.

> You're asking for trouble setting these values to the equivalent of
> unlimited.  Instead of asking "what would happen", you should be  
> asking
> "why would I need to do that".
> Regarding memory implications, the Handbook goes over it.

Unfortunately I've been unable to find it.  While we fix the fd leak  
I'd like to know how high I can push these numbers and not cause other  

Ari Maniatis

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