[Dovecot] Another "Too many files open" post

Jeff Ballard ballard at engr.wisc.edu
Wed Dec 21 14:27:35 EET 2005

On Wed, 21 Dec 2005 08:52:32 +0100  Jeroen Scheerder wrote:

> Remy Zandwijk wrote:
> > 
> >>>> I'm running Solaris 9 Sparc with Dovecot alpha 5 and using maildir 
> >>>> format..  I noticed in the log file the following error:
> > 
> > We used to have this problem when we started using 1.0-stable. In the 
> > startup script, I issue the plimit command:
> Why not use a "unlimit" command instead, i.e.:
> I bumped into this too, with a limit of 64 (Solaris 7).  Raising it, using 
> aforementioned method, to 1024 solved the problem for me.  Alpha5 is running 
> smoothly, with outstanding performance.

ulimit sets the limit for a shell and plimit sets it for a process.  The man 
pages talk all about them.

And setting it to 1024 is the default rlim_fd_max for Solaris (at least 
Solaris 8 and up).  Whether or not that is going to work for you is going to 
depend on if you have more than 500 (or so) users using your system 
concurrently, given that my understanding is that in the current version each 
connection uses 2 fd's.

So, if you didn't want to reboot quite yet, you could use plimit to poke the 
process to use 1024, but if you're at a site like mine that would only work 
until everyone has had a chance to wander on in ;)  Bumping /etc/system much 
higher and rebooting is really the only true fix for this (and is something I 
routinely do on all my servers for good measure).


Jeff Ballard <ballard at engr.wisc.edu>   608-265-5090
Unix Systems Manager, Computer-Aided Engineering Center

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