[GE users] couldn't create pipe: too many open files

richmaes rmaes at ciena.com
Tue Nov 17 22:32:39 GMT 2009

Yes your correct.  We just got it worked out.  We are using TCSH so the command we use is limit.  We raised our hard and soft descriptor limits to 4096 and this resolved the issue.

Here is the part I am not absolutely clear about.  I did a lsof to show our open file handles which I think is system wide.   The number before starting our SGE job was about 4000.  After kicking the job off, the number grew to about 14000 before it started dumping jobs because of too many open files.

So that is 10000 file increase in terms of open files.  Our original setting in our /etc/security/limits.conf file was 1024.  

I don't see how 1024 related to the 10000 open files.  It seems like it should have died sooner.  Nor does 4096 seem like enough to solve the issue.

For future reference, the edits we made were as follows in the limits.conf file.  Notice it uses "nofile" as the limit name and not "descriptors" as you might expect.
[waxgridqm.ciena.com(ltconeng)]-> builds 115> cat /etc/security/limits.conf 
*                hard   nofile      4096
*                soft   nofile      4096


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