A quick tip on how to use launchd.conf to up some of your system limits.If you have ever seen log errors like this:
[Time 2006.10.27 13:16:39 UTC] [Facility user] [Sender ARDAgent ] [PID 184] [Message socket(PF_ROUTE) failed: Too many open files]
the solution is fairly simple. Increase the ulimit of your box.
Ulimit is a *nix term for the maximum number of processes allowed per user. You can see the normal limit in 10.4 by running the command
sudo launchctl limit
The value you are looking for is under the heading ‘maxproc’. It will look something like this:
hostname:~ user$ sudo launchctl limit Password: cpu unlimited unlimited filesize unlimited unlimited data 6291456 unlimited stack 8388608 67108864 core 0 unlimited rss unlimited unlimited memlock unlimited unlimited maxproc 100 532 maxfiles 256 unlimited
Note the default values of 100 (soft limit) and 532 (hard limit). If any user goes over 532 processes, bad things will happen. Remember that lots of system-level daemons have their own uid, so this doesn’t just apply to human users.
To up the limit, write an appropriate launchd.conf file. Launchd.conf contains launchctl commands that will be run when launchd starts, launchd being process number 1 on your system.
sudo echo "limit maxproc 200 1000" > /etc/launchd.conf
Ed. Note: The previous command assumes you don’t already have an existing launchd.conf. If you do already have the file it would probably best to just hand edit the file with your favorite text edtor.
Now restart the machine. When the system comes back up, launchd will adjust the maxproc/ulimit threshold according to what you’ve just set in the command above. Double-check by running:
sudo launchctl limit
You may need to do some benchmarking and monitoring to make sure that your new settings work properly. I’d suggest being conservative at first.
Lastly, note that you can set maxproc/ulimit for individual launchd items – consult the man page for launchd.plist for more info on the HardResourceLimits and NumberofProcesses keys.