I just installed FreeBSD 9 version with GNOME interface. Each time I want to open a folder from root a message box pops up and warns me with this message: Too many open files in system. What is the problem and how to avoid it?

2 Answers 2


The problem is that each user has limits. Among these limits, the open file limits the number of resources you can request to the OS.

Everything is a file on UNIX: socket, pipes, actual files, your monitor, etc.

Something is opening too many files. Find out why by using a command like "fstat" or "lsof", it will list all open files. Hopefully you will be able to sort that out and find the process who has been responsible for that. Hunt it down. You can look around "fuser" as well if you want to check if a specific file is opened easily.

Happy hunting.


I can give you a good guess... it's probably the search feature in GNOME. Most of the open source search tools have to monitor files for activity. In linux, this is very efficient, but in BSD there is no inotify. They use kqueue which is great except for the fact that it uses up all your file descriptors. You can increase the limit or turn of the search/monitoring features. There are several, and it might be called beagle.

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