I am running this command as root:

# sysctl -w fs.file-nr=131072
error: permission denied on key 'fs.file-nr'

Same issue when I edit /etc/sysctl.conf and try sysctl -p. Any reason why I cannot edit this value?

I am on CentOS 6.5

  • What user are you using, root? Check if that file is immutable with lsattr filename Commented Dec 18, 2013 at 3:12
  • Yes, I am root. Where would I find fs.file-nr?
    – Jason
    Commented Dec 18, 2013 at 3:28

1 Answer 1


fs.file-nr represents the number of allocated file handles, the number of allocated but unused ones, and the maximum number of file handles, which is read-only.

However the third field can be modified through fs.file-max instead.

# sysctl -w fs.file-max=131072

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