SUMMARY: Solaris Open File Limit

From: Rodney Wines (
Date: Mon Jul 28 1997 - 13:43:41 CDT

Original question:

> I will soon be installing Netscape Enterprise server 3.0 on Solaris 2.5.1.
> When reading the release notes for the server, I found the following: "When
> working with the Enterprise server, you will need to increase the systems
> limit on its number of open files. You should allow at least 1024 open files
> within a single process and at least 1024 open files on the system. See your
> system documentation for more information."
> Can someone tell me how to change this? I've been searching through the
> AnswerBook without success.

Thanks to the many people who responded.

The short answer, it's in tffaq, although everybody was too kind to put it
just that way (although thanks to Casper Dik for giving me the URL for the
FAQ, in addition to the answer).

The answer is, add the following lines to /etc/system:

        * set hard limit on file descriptors
        set rlim_fd_max = 4096 (or whatever)
        * set soft limit on file descriptors
        set rlim_fd_cur = 1024 (or whatever)

There are some cautions mentioned in the FAQ about large values of these
parameters; even programs using the stdio library can break, because the
library only expects 256 file descriptors. For more details, see the FAQ

To see the current values of these parameters, someone pointed out that I
can do:

        sysdef | grep descriptors

That'll return two numbers, in hex. The first is the soft limit, and the
second is the hard limit.

Thanks again for all the help.

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