Normal user is unable to login on the system with an error "fork: Resource temporarily unavailable"

Solution Unverified - Updated -

Environment

  • Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6

Issue

  • The su - <user> command failed with an error "Resource temporarily unavailable".
  • A vmcore file is captured during this issue to determine the root cause.
# su – <user>
-bash: fork: retry: Resource temporarily unavailable
-bash: fork: retry: Resource temporarily unavailable
-bash: fork: retry: Resource temporarily unavailable
-bash: fork: retry: Resource temporarily unavailable
-bash: fork: Resource temporarily unavailable

Resolution

  • Increase the value of "nproc" parameter for user or all user's in /etc/security/limits.d/90-nproc.conf
    > Here is an example of /etc/security/limits.d/90-nproc.conf file.
<user>       -          nproc     2048      <<<----[ Only for "<user>" user ]
*          -          nproc     2048      <<<----[ For all user's ]

NOTE: Above is an snippet of example, nproc value should be increased from current value to double or triple as per requirements.

Root Cause

  • The system was not able to create new process(es), because of the limits set for nproc in /etc/security/limits.conf file.
  • The process(es) initiated by user "test" having uid (702638) are reached to it's soft limit.
  • The soft limit for number of process(es) (nproc) is set to 1024 in /etc/security/limits.conf file.
  • The total number of process(es) running on this system with uid (702638) are 1023 process(es).

Diagnostic Steps

  • Determine the total number of process(es) on the system.
crash> ps | wc -l
1370         <<<-----[ Total number of process(es) on the system ]
  • Determine the process name with the highest number of instances.
crash>  ps | gawk '{count[$NF]++}END{for(j in count) print ""count[j]":",j}'|sort -rn|head -n20 
1021: java   <<<-----[ Total 1021 are "java" process(es) ]
64: console-kit-dae
57: klzagent
56: kloagent
7: [kdmflush]
7: [ext4-dio-unwrit]
7: avagent.bin
6: multipathd
6: mingetty
6: elxhbamgrd
5: .vasd
4: rscd
4: collect
4: automount
3: udevd
3: sshd
3: sh
3: rsyslogd
2: sleep
2: sendmail
  • Determine the "NPROC" limit of the process with highest number of instances (i.e "java").
crash> set 32724
    PID: 32724
COMMAND: "java"
   TASK: ffff8801298ce040  [THREAD_INFO: ffff8801030b2000]
    CPU: 0
  STATE: TASK_INTERRUPTIBLE 

crash> ps -r 32724
PID: 32724  TASK: ffff8801298ce040  CPU: 0   COMMAND: "java"
      RLIMIT     CURRENT       MAXIMUM  
         CPU   (unlimited)   (unlimited)
       FSIZE   (unlimited)   (unlimited)
        DATA   (unlimited)   (unlimited)
       STACK    10485760     (unlimited)
        CORE        0        (unlimited)
         RSS   (unlimited)   (unlimited)
       NPROC      1024          30527     
      NOFILE      8192          8192    
     MEMLOCK      65536         65536   
          AS   (unlimited)   (unlimited)
       LOCKS   (unlimited)   (unlimited)
  SIGPENDING      30527         30527   
    MSGQUEUE     819200        819200   
        NICE        0             0     
      RTPRIO        0             0     
      RTTIME   (unlimited)   (unlimited)

crash> ps -r | grep -e 'NPROC      1024' -B 8 | grep -e PID -e NPROC
PID: 334    TASK: ffff88012c8a4080  CPU: 0   COMMAND: "java"
       NPROC      1024          30527   
PID: 335    TASK: ffff880101e1c040  CPU: 0   COMMAND: "java"
       NPROC      1024          30527   
PID: 336    TASK: ffff88010a390aa0  CPU: 0   COMMAND: "java"
       NPROC      1024          30527   
PID: 453    TASK: ffff8801298e7540  CPU: 0   COMMAND: "java"
       NPROC      1024          30527   
[..]
  • Determine the "UID" and "GID" of the process with highest number of instances( i.e "java").
crash> set 32724
    PID: 32724
COMMAND: "java"
   TASK: ffff8801298ce040  [THREAD_INFO: ffff8801030b2000]
    CPU: 0
  STATE: TASK_INTERRUPTIBLE 

crash> task_struct.real_cred ffff8801298ce040
  real_cred = 0xffff880139eeb300

crash> cred.uid 0xffff880139eeb300
  uid = 702638               <<<----[ User ID  ]

crash> cred.gid 0xffff880139eeb300
  gid = 626431               <<<----[ Group ID ]
  • The "java" process(es) are running with uid (702638) and gid (9626431).

  • Determine the total number of process(es) running with uid (702638).

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9 Comments

Dear Sir,

As suggested by application team we restarted server and bounce application,and application in working fine. Please suggest specific solution , if required i can upload screenshot the limits.conf file.

I made that change and it worked on RedHat 6. On RedHat 5 I see the directory but it is empty. Should I add that file to those servers with the higher limit to prevent a similar occurrence happening on them?

Jerry,

No, It is not require to create that file on RHEL5. You can just add/increase nproc value on /etc/security/limits.conf file on RHEL5 and it works. Setting nproc in /etc/security/limits.conf has no effect in Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6.

Refer this article - https://access.redhat.com/solutions/146233

OK. Now I am confused because that file was on RedHat 6 and increasing it fixed the problem
On Redhat 5 the directory is there but no file. My question is should I add that file with the higher value or leave it as is?

I have checked the system with ps -ef | wc -l , but the number was far to a small. But after modifying /etc/security/limits.d/90-nproc.conf ,and the problem was fixed .

thx for solution! worked great for us!

Hi, team

May I know, how you got (set 32724) id 32724.am talking about below step crash> set 32724 PID: 32724 COMMAND: "java" TASK: ffff8801298ce040 [THREAD_INFO: ffff8801030b2000] CPU: 0 STATE: TASK_INTERRUPTIBLE

As suggested by application team we restarted server and bounce application,and application in working fine. Please provide the permanent solution for this issue.

I restarted server and bounce application and application in working fine, after some weeks/months is happening again. Also to mention the limits were changed as well, still happening I would say once a month.. Please provide the permanent solution for this issue. thank you in advance!