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Debian GNU/Linux Reference Guide
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7.3.1 Too many open files

The Linux kernel may complain "Too many open files". This is due to the small default value (8096) for file-max. To fix this problem, run the following command as root:

     # echo "65536"  > /proc/sys/fs/file-max  # for 2.2 and 2.4 kernel
     # echo "131072" > /proc/sys/fs/inode-max # for 2.2 kernel only

or put the following into /etc/sysctl.conf for the permanent change:

     file-max=65536   # for 2.2 and 2.4 kernel
     inode-max=131072 # for 2.2 kernel only

Debian GNU/Linux Reference Guide
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