file handles - who ate them?!

From: Dave Gilbert (Home) (
Date: Wed Aug 07 2002 - 09:02:55 EST

   I had a bad case of running out of file handles over the weekend and

    1) If there are any tools for trying to track down what ate them
all. Looking at the state of the system today I see 2541
(allocated)/763 (used)/ 8192 (max). I guess I'd like to know when it
hit the peak and what the state of the system was around that time (to
find out if it was a particular cron job etc). I can see what is using
them now - but that isn't too much use.

   2) Why is there a file-nr-max? Is it the case that the kernel
allocates file handles as it needs them (i.e. the 2541 above) - but
never frees back? Is it just as a stop to stop rogue programs taking
all RAM? (i.e. why don't we just let the allocated amount grow as
needed). Is there a reason I shouldn't just set this to a huge figure?

   3) Is it possible to change what happens on hitting the max
condition? - in someways for me it would have been better if it had
panic'd and rebooted rather than sitting there and sulking not being
able to open files. (Getting it to log a dump of open files at this time
would be the ideal).

(2.4.16, x86)


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