Too many open files

Gary Mills mills at
Fri Aug 24 12:27:25 EDT 2007

On Fri, Aug 24, 2007 at 04:49:10PM +0100, Rob McMahon wrote:
> Cyrus-2.2.13 (yes, I know it's getting on a bit).  Solaris 10 SPARC, 
> around 115,000 mailboxes.

Same thing here with cyrus-imapd-2.3.8 on Solaris 10 SPARC.

> I was mopping up a few users today with a script which basically does:
> while (<>) {
>   chomp;
>   my $mb = 'user.' . $_;
>   $client->setacl($mb, $user => 'c');
>   $client->delete($mb);
> }
> After deleting just a few, I start getting errors like "Must login 
> first", "System I/O Error" (sorry, I haven't got the exact messages to 
> cut & paste).  Looking in the logs I see:
> Aug 24 16:20:44 narcissus imap[24338]: [ID 240394 local6.error] IOERROR: 
> opening quota file /var/imap/quota/V/user.??????.Trash: Too many open files
> Aug 24 16:21:38 narcissus imap[24338]: [ID 816447 local6.error] warning: 
> cannot open /etc/hosts.deny: Too many open files

Mine was like this:

  Aug 23 09:43:46 castor imap[20105]: [ID 136705 local6.error] IOERROR: opening /imap/spool/K/user/xxxxxx/cyrus.header: Too many open files

The problem is intermittent, only happening with certain imapd
processes.  I've noticed it when processing large batches of mailboxes
from a perl script.  When I rerun the batch, with a different imapd,
the error doesn't appear.  It almost never happens in normal IMAP use.
I don't know how to track it down in these circumstances.

-Gary Mills-    -Unix Support-    -U of M Academic Computing and Networking-

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