Bug 19663 - Too many open files in system
Too many open files in system
Product: Red Hat Linux
Classification: Retired
Component: kernel (Show other bugs)
i386 Linux
high Severity medium
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Assigned To: Michael K. Johnson
Brock Organ
Depends On:
  Show dependency treegraph
Reported: 2000-10-23 22:31 EDT by Willy
Modified: 2007-03-26 23:36 EDT (History)
4 users (show)

See Also:
Fixed In Version:
Doc Type: Bug Fix
Doc Text:
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Clone Of:
Last Closed: 2002-12-14 21:50:48 EST
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Verified Versions:
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oVirt Team: ---
RHEL 7.3 requirements from Atomic Host:
Cloudforms Team: ---

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Description Willy 2000-10-23 22:31:28 EDT
Hi, previously I was running Redhat 5.2 on our server and recently we have 
upgraded to Redhat 7.0 .  I have already applied all the patches available 
on Redhat's website.  However, I'm encountering the following error 
message after the system is running for about 2 days or more:

"Too many open files in system"

I suspect that Redhat 7 may not be closing unused files and thus resulting 
in too many open files.

What could be causing it?  I'm running the following applications on my 

1) proftpd 1.2.0pre2
2) mysql 3.23.26-beta
3) qmail 1.03

Can anyone please provide some advice on how to fix this?

Thank you.
Comment 1 Daniel Roesen 2000-10-24 07:23:57 EDT
btw... ProFTPD 1.2.0pre2 has massive security holes. Upgrade to 1.2.0pre10 or 
current CVS code (best).
Comment 2 Willy 2000-10-24 21:52:43 EDT
Sorry, I'm actually running ProFTPD 1.2.0rc2

Comment 3 Alan Cox 2000-10-27 12:23:11 EDT
I can think of a few things  here.

Firstly if you have registered for the Red Hat Network see the errata on this
and update the daemon in question as it has a file handle leak

Second time. Look in /proc/[0-9]*/fd and you'll see who has how many handles
open. A culprit will show up clearly enough. 

Finally you can increase the number of handles if needed (ie it really is using
that many) via the /proc/sys interface or with tools like powertweak
Comment 4 Willy 2000-10-30 22:03:45 EST
Will the following increase the number of handles?

echo 32768 > /proc/sys/fs/file-max
echo 65536 > /proc/sys/fs/inode-max

Thank you.
Comment 5 Willy 2000-11-02 21:19:09 EST
I've increased the file-max to 32768 and inode-max to 65536.  However I'm still 
encountering the "Too many open files in system error".  I've checked /proc/[0-
9]*/fd as you mentioned and found that alot of sockets are open in the 
directories.  Any idea what's the cause of this?

Below is a capture of a small part of the fd directory:

Thank you.

lrwx------    1 root     root           64 Nov  2 18:11 890 -> socket:[3020305]
lrwx------    1 root     root           64 Nov  2 18:11 891 -> socket:[3020963]
lrwx------    1 root     root           64 Nov  2 18:11 892 -> socket:[3020964]
lrwx------    1 root     root           64 Nov  2 18:11 893 -> socket:[3022862]
lrwx------    1 root     root           64 Nov  2 18:11 894 -> socket:[3022863]
lrwx------    1 root     root           64 Nov  2 18:11 895 -> socket:[3023181]
lrwx------    1 root     root           64 Nov  2 18:11 896 -> socket:[3023182]
lrwx------    1 root     root           64 Nov  2 18:11 897 -> socket:[3023584]
lrwx------    1 root     root           64 Nov  2 18:11 898 -> socket:[3023585]
lrwx------    1 root     root           64 Nov  2 18:11 899 -> socket:[3023962]
lrwx------    1 root     root           64 Nov  2 18:11 9 -> socket:[1040193]
lrwx------    1 root     root           64 Nov  2 18:11 90 -> socket:[1238633]
Comment 6 Alan Cox 2000-11-03 06:55:42 EST
Which process has all the sockets (ie which directory is the one that is 
thousands of fds) and what process is that pid
Comment 7 Willy 2000-11-06 05:38:14 EST
It's the Apache 1.3.14 server which I compiled with PHP 4.03pl1, modSSL 2.7.1-
1.3.14, OpenSSL 0.9.6

There are thousands of such sockets open for each Apache process.  Is this 
normal?  Any advice on how to fix this?

Thank you.
Comment 8 Alan Cox 2000-11-06 06:28:49 EST
Each apache should not have thousands of sockets. That sounds like something in
your apache/php/ssl setup is leaking file descriptors. That would indicate an
error in the apache build or a bug in that apache configuration.

Comment 9 The Bogus One 2000-11-20 20:30:43 EST
I think I'm experiencing the same result, don't know yet if it has the same
cause.  I'm running ProFTPD (CVS from a month or so ago), Apache 1.3.14-3, MySQL
3.23.24, and the Imap from RH.. This is basiaclly a stock RH 7 with updates. The
only addition is ProFTPD and XTRadius. The only update I saw that said anything
about file descriptions is up2date, which isn't even installed on the box in
question.. I'm having to reboot once a week or so. Get weird errors, and I can
tell they are file related. Reboot, and I'm good to go for a bit..  Looking at
lsof, I'm going to watch Apache.. It's the rpm out of RH updates...
Comment 10 Mike A. Harris 2002-02-11 08:22:17 EST
Are these problems still occuring?

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