Today my DBA reported that the server she was working on was spitting out “too many open files” errors and no new processes could be started.
This is a common problem with DB servers with heavy transactions. In my environment there are 6 DB instances running on the server. No quite the optimized setup I would say.
The fix was to increase the total file descriptors kernel parameter count in the /etc/sysctl.conf file. I doubled my limit from 8192 to 16384.
The walk through,
1. Find out what the current open file descriptor limit is.
~# more /proc/sys/fs/file-max ~# 8192
~# sysctl -a | grep fs.file-max ~# fs.file-max = 8192
2. View how many open file descriptors are currently being used.
~# more /proc/sys/fs/file-nr ~# 8191
3. View how many files are open. The number returned might defer as 1 file descriptor can have multiple open files attached to it.
~# lsof | wc -l ~# 10325
4. Edit the kernel paramneter file /etc/sysctl.conf and add line “fs.file-max=[new value]” to it.
~# vi /etc/sysctl.conf fs.file-max = 331287
5. Apply the changes.
~# sysctl -p ~# fs.file-max = 331287