ulimits settings fail on system start or logout with invalid argument

This document (7005716) is provided subject to the disclaimer at the end of this document.


SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 11
SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 10 Service Pack 3
SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop 11
SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop 10 Service Pack 3



ulimit up to version 1.2-2.4.14 and 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.


Update ulimit to version 1.2-2.5.1 or later.


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  • Document ID:7005716
  • Creation Date: 12-Apr-2010
  • Modified Date:28-Sep-2022
    • SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop
    • SUSE Linux Enterprise Server

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