strange 'too many open files' errors with nginx 0.6.32

Arash Ferdowsi arash at
Mon Nov 17 13:48:24 MSK 2008

hi,i'm seeing a strange 'too many open files' error with nginx (which I'm
sure many of you have seen before):

2008/11/17 02:15:02 [alert] 21748#0: accept() failed (24: Too many open
files) while accepting new connection on

strangely enough, I have the following line in /etc/security/limits:
* hard nofile 524288

and ulimit -n returns the same number. I have 2 workers set to a max
of 262144 connections. upon receiving that error (and after
past occurrences) I've run lsof and gotten < 10k sockets. additionally, I
have a nearly identically configured machine (running twisted) where each
process is handling ~15k connections. so I'm a loss as to what's going on
here (and suspect some subtle bug in nginx or in my server configuration.
any help would be greatly appreciated!

Arash Ferdowsi
CTO, Dropbox
913.707.5875 (m)
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