Subject: Re: 'Couldn't spawn child process'
To: Rick Byers <>
From: Zdenek Salvet <>
List: current-users
Date: 06/04/1997 06:39:48
> 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

You may be approaching processes per user limit (default 80).

$ ulimit -p 300
$  csh -c limit |grep maxproc
maxproc         300 

> 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.

Zdenek Salvet                                     
           If God had meant for us to be in the Army,
         we would have been born with green, baggy skin.