-bash: /bin/ls: Input/output error

Thomas S. Dixon dixont at musc.edu
Fri Jan 3 06:48:00 CST 2003

On Thu, 2 Jan 2003, at 9:04am, cpbarton at uiuc.edu wrote:

 > After running without incident for 10 days or so, my system now enters a
 > strange state each day where new processes cannot be created.  Every
 > command results in the error message "Input/output error".

I believe i've seen this behavior before when the system has exceeded 
the maximum amount of open files. try the lsof command to see how many 
open files you have (lsof | wc -l should give you an idea). Compare that 
with the limit set in the kernel (cat /proc/sys/fs/file-max). 
Fortunately, this limit can be changed without rebooting by issuing 
"echo 16384 > /proc/sys/fs/file-max". replace 16384 with an appropriate 
number, but i believe you can set this as high as you want without any 
bad side effects. If upping this limit fixes the problem, you'll want to 
make this change permanent, perhaps by adding a line to rc.local.

Hope that helps,

Thomas Dixon
Senior Applications Analyst
Pediatric Cardiology
Medical University of South Carolina

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