May 17, 2006

login: fork: Resource temporarily unavailable

Posted in Mac OS X at 7:36 pm by intermediatemacintosh

I’m still having problems with my iMac G5 and OS X 10.4.6. Actually I’ve had these sorts of problems on all versions of OS X.

The culprit seems to be when I fire up 8 or 10 different Terminal sessions.

Yesterday some of those sessions started, and others generated this error message.

login: fork: Resource temporarily unavailable

I see bad things happen with BackityMac and Checkbook to name a couple of examples. These programs are probably firing off shell scripts on their own, and running into the same sort of problem.

I have increased the number of processes my user id can run at the same time from 100 to 200.

A ulimit -a command shows

core file size (blocks, -c) 0
data seg size (kbytes, -d) 6144
file size (blocks, -f) unlimited
max locked memory (kbytes, -l) unlimited
max memory size (kbytes, -m) unlimited
open files (-n) 256
pipe size (512 bytes, -p) 1
stack size (kbytes, -s) 8192
cpu time (seconds, -t) unlimited
max user processes (-u) 200
virtual memory (kbytes, -v) unlimited

I guess the number of open files seems like the next most likely suspect. Not sure how to know how many open files there are in Unix, so I need to do some digging.


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