cyrus 2.4.17 -- file descriptor limit set to -1?

Patrick Goetz pgoetz at
Thu Jan 15 06:04:19 EST 2015

I'm firing up cyrus 2.4.17 for the first time on a new platform (Arch 
linux w/ systemd) and noticed the following error message (running 
journalctl -u cyrus-master):

Jan 15 04:08:50 ibis cyrus/master[701]: setrlimit: Unable to set file 
descriptors limit to -1: Operation not permitted
Jan 15 04:08:50 ibis cyrus/master[701]: retrying with 4096 (current max)

Apparently the cyrus master process is trying to set the file descriptor 
limit to -1?  Is it even legal to use -1 as infinity in this context? 
According to the setrlimit man page:
The soft limit is the value that the kernel enforces for the 
corresponding resource. The hard limit acts as a ceiling for the soft 
limit: an unprivileged process may only set its soft limit to a value in 
the range from 0 up to the hard limit, and (irreversibly) lower its hard 
limit. A privileged process (under Linux: one with the CAP_SYS_RESOURCE 
capability) may make arbitrary changes to either limit value.

The value RLIM_INFINITY denotes no limit on a resource (both in the 
structure returned by getrlimit() and in the structure passed to 

BTW, off topic and perhaps feeding some trolls, I'm really liking 
systemd so far; in part because it's alerting me to minor 
misconfiguration errors that I've had around for years but wasn't aware of.

More information about the Info-cyrus mailing list