Subject: Re: xargs
To: Denis Lagno <>
From: Hubert Feyrer <>
List: tech-userlevel
Date: 03/28/2006 13:19:52
On Tue, 28 Mar 2006, Denis Lagno wrote:
> kern.argmax = 262144
> Hmm, it reminds me that I have line
> options BIG_PIPE_SIZE=262144
> in kernel config..

This shouldn't be a problem (I'd say...).
The problem seems to be xargs not getting the line/command length limit 
properly, and then running something that the kernel can't cope with.

Looking at xargs sources, it uses ARG_MAX, which wasn't touched in the 
last 12 years. I'm not sure where the counterpart of the kernel is 
defined. Looking at ktrace output may help.

Also for starters, making sure that your kernel & userland are in sync 
would be a good thing, and then see if it happens with a 'stock' 
(unmodified) kernel.

  - Hubert