Subject: 'Couldn't spawn child process'
To: None <current-users@NetBSD.ORG>
From: Rick Byers <>
List: current-users
Date: 06/03/1997 21:26:29
I wrote a little while back about 'Too many open files' in apache.  I was
told that there are some hard limits in libc that might be causing the
problem.  I just decreased the number of log files I was using, and it
worked fine for a few days.  Now I'm seeing 'can't fork' and 'couldn't
spawn child process'.  What sort of things would cause this?

My open files in system is well below my kernel limit (about 2000 of
6000), and there are only about 106 of 2048 processes running.  I've got
15Mb real memory available, and TONNES of swap space free (actually, swap
is rarely even used).  What other hard limits should I look at?  I've also
been seeing 'can't fork' on our news server, but I assumed that was lack
of memory.  I've never seen theese messages before - actualy, I only
started having problem after upgrading from 1.2 to 1.2.1. 

This problem is causing all sorts of haavoc with our web server, and I'm
not even sure where to begin.  It's very sparatic, and it allways works
for a while after rebooting.

Any suggestions?

Rick Byers                                      Internet Access Worldwide                                System Admin, Tech Support
Welland, Ontario, Canada                                    (905)714-1400