ulimits settings fail on system start or logout with invalid argument

  • 7005716
  • 12-Apr-2010
  • 08-Nov-2012


SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 10 Service Pack 3
SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop 10 Service Pack 3
Novell Open Enterprise Server 2 (OES 2) Linux Support Pack 2
with ulimit up to version 1.2-2.4.14

SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 11
SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop 11
with ulimit up to version 1.2-1.22.1


Using the package ulimit and its config file /etc/sysconfig/ulimit to set security values, the system reports on startup / reboot:

/etc/initscript: line 90: ulimit: open files: cannot modify limit: Invalid argument

in /var/log/boot.msg as well as output to the console if the shell of the logged in user is exited. The values set in /etc/sysconfig/ulimit are not reflected by the appropriate ulimit command. Instead 1024 is returned:

sle10-iscsi:~ # grep SOFTFDLIMIT /etc/sysconfig/ulimit
sle10-iscsi:~ # ulimit -Sn
sle10-iscsi:~ #

Please note that for SLE11 the error message changes slightly and reports an issue with line 94 of /etc/initscript.


Customers experiencing this issue should update ulimit to version 1.2-2.5.1 or later.