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From: Bogdan Costescu (Bogdan.Costescu_at_[hidden])
Date: 2005-12-07 11:17:55

On Tue, 6 Dec 2005, Jeff Squyres wrote:

> With Tim's response to this -- I'm curious (so that we get correct
> information on the FAQ) -- is the /etc/security/limit.conf method a
> system-wide way of setting these values, and "ulimit -l" a per-user
> way of setting it?

You can see the official docs, including examples, at:

You can look at the limits.conf way as a way to set a default (for
soft) and a maximum (for hard) per session - these values are usually
static, but if the admin (or some program with enough priviledges)
modifies them, only the shells started afterwards will get the new
values, the running shells keep their current values.

So it's similar to the system-wide shell environment settings (f.e.
/etc/csh.cshrc) which only take effect in the shells started after the
modifications were made. It's also disimilar to writing to /proc/sys/
which usually affects all running processes.

> That doesn't sound quite right to me -- I'm assuming that a user
> can't "ulimit -l X" where X is larger than the numbers in /etc/
> security/limits.conf -- can someone confirm if this is Right?

... can't "ulimit -l X" where X is larger than the "hard" value from

Bogdan Costescu
IWR - Interdisziplinaeres Zentrum fuer Wissenschaftliches Rechnen
Universitaet Heidelberg, INF 368, D-69120 Heidelberg, GERMANY
Telephone: +49 6221 54 8869, Telefax: +49 6221 54 8868
E-mail: Bogdan.Costescu_at_[hidden]