Know your limits (ulimits)

I recently had a problem thrown at me. Something that worked fine on a developer’s workstation wasn’t working when deployed to our servers.

Problem turned out to be related to default ulimit settings being different.

Here are the defaults.

ulimit -a

Ubuntu11 RHEL6
core file size (blocks, -c) 0
data seg size (kbytes, -d) unlimited
scheduling priority (-e) 20
file size (blocks, -f) unlimited
pending signals (-i) 16382
max locked memory (kbytes, -l) 64
max memory size (kbytes, -m) unlimited
open files (-n) 1024
pipe size (512 bytes, -p) 8
POSIX message queues (bytes, -q) 819200
real-time priority (-r) 0
stack size (kbytes, -s) 8192
cpu time (seconds, -t) unlimited
max user processes (-u) unlimited
virtual memory (kbytes, -v) unlimited
file locks (-x) unlimited 
core file size (blocks, -c) 0
data seg size (kbytes, -d) unlimited
scheduling priority (-e) 0
file size (blocks, -f) unlimited
pending signals (-i) 5835
max locked memory (kbytes, -l) 64
max memory size (kbytes, -m) unlimited
open files (-n) 1024
pipe size (512 bytes, -p) 8
POSIX message queues (bytes, -q) 819200
real-time priority (-r) 0
stack size (kbytes, -s) 10240
cpu time (seconds, -t) unlimited
max user processes (-u) 1024
virtual memory (kbytes, -v) unlimited
file locks (-x) unlimited 

See the “max user processes”? For some reason the app wanted to create 10s of thousands of processes.

Fixed by a ulimit -u

Look here too…

cat /etc/security/limits.d/90-nproc.conf

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