increasing open files limit

Steve Holdoway steve at
Mon Mar 17 05:38:54 UTC 2014

On Mon, 2014-03-17 at 00:53 -0400, bignginxfan wrote:
> I am trying to increase the limit on open files for nginx. I've set cat
> /proc/sys/fs/file-max to 1000000, set worker_rlimit_nofile to 8388608 but I
> still keep getting errors like:
> setrlimit(RLIMIT_NOFILE, 8388608) failed (1: Operation not permitted)
> accept4() failed (24: Too many open files)
> How do I increase the limit on open files for nginx?
> Posted at Nginx Forum:,248426,248426#msg-248426
In /etc/sysctl.conf or a conf file in /etc/sysconfig.d

fs.file-max = 1000000

and run /etc/sysctl -p  /etc/sysctl.conf

in /etc/security/limits.conf

www-data       soft    nofile  500000
www-data       hard    nofile  800000

( assuming nginx is running as www-data ).

However, check your figures... setting max to a million open files, then
trying to set rlimit_nofile to 8 million is never going to work! I
suggest 800k should be plenty.


Steve Holdoway BSc(Hons) MIITP
Skype: sholdowa

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