SUMMARY: Re: Xlib: Maximum number of clients reached

From: Haohui Wang (
Date: Mon Jan 27 1997 - 18:11:13 CST

My thanks to everyone replied, especially Russ Poffenberger and Matthew Stier
who pointed out the max # of X Clients is directly limited by
the # of file descriptors available to the X server. And the
limit of file descriptors can be set in shell by ulimit (Bourne Shells)
or limit( C Shells)

SunSolve recommends it to be 256

Haohui Wang

Reply from Russ Poffenberger <>

The TCP socket to the X server is limited by the OS because of the number of
file descriptors (FD) that any single process can have open.

In SunOS 4.1.X the maximum is 256, but by default may be limited to 64 unless
you change it. This can be done in csh by saying "limit descriptors 256". This
MUST be set before the process (in this case, Xsun) is started.

In Solaris 2.x, the max limit is 1024, but the initial default (soft) limit is
64 again.

So the solution is to increase the limit PRIOR to starting the X server (from
the same shell you set the limit in). You can do this by adding the limit
statement to your .cshrc.
Reply from Matthew Stier <Matthew.Stier@MCI.Com>

Per SunSolve, you are running out of file descriptors. Try upping the
limit (using ulimit/limit (shell dependent)). Sunsolves recommends 256.

Note: Your message does not give details like which OS/Windowing System you
are running. It helps in diagnosing the problem.


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