SUMMARY: File Desciptors in Solaris 2.5.1

Date: Wed Oct 02 1996 - 13:00:06 CDT

Many thanks to:
        Casper Dik <casper@holland.Sun.COM> (Mark S. Anderson)

Both pointed out the 40 (hex) == 64 (decimal) and Casper sent me an
excerpt from the Solaris FAQ (see below). I still haven't found a listing
of all the kernel configuration parameters, but if I find one, I will post


Original Post:

>This is probably a *really* stupid question, but, here goes anyway. What
>is the difference between 'limit' and 'sysdef' while reporting the
>number of file descriptors.
> % limit descriptors
> descriptors 64
> % /usr/sbin/sysdef | grep -i descriptors
> 40: 400 file descriptors
>Does 'sysdef' report the maximum number of file descriptors any one process
>can have open at any given time and 'limit' reports the number of file
>desciptors that *all* concurrent processes started by a user may have open
>at a given time, or am I just brain dead and the two are unrelated? Finally
>a related question, in Solaris 2.5.1, what is the kernel parameter to up the
>max file descriptors?
>Thanks in Advance,
>BTW: If anyone has a list of all the kernel parameter and their corresponding
>meaning or knows where to find them (answerbook seems to have most but not
>all), I'll summarize with the list.

From: Casper Dik <casper@holland.Sun.COM>
sysdef and limit return the same numbers, but sysdef prints it in hexadecimal.

The solaris FAQ says:

3.43) How can I increase the number of file descriptors per process?

    In 2.3 in earlier this requires poking the kernel.
    In Solaris 2.4+, this can be accomplished by adding the
    following lines to /etc/system:

        * set hard limit on file descriptors
        set rlim_fd_max = 4096
        * set soft limit on file descriptors
        set rlim_fd_cur = 1024

    Raising the soft limit past 256 may confuse certain applications,
    especially BCP applications. Raising the limit past 1024 may
    confuse applications that use select().

    --- end of excerpt from the FAQ

Questions marked with a * or + have been changed or added since
the FAQ was last posted

The most recently posted version of the FAQ is available from

From: (Mark S. Anderson)

Offhand, I'd guess that descriptor iss shown in hex (40 hex = 64 decimal)


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