How to set a soft and hard limit for the maximum number of open files for each user in Linux

Follow the steps below to impose a limit on the number of open files for a certain user.

Using vi open /etc/security/limits.conf. The syntax in limits.conf is given below.

<domain> <type> <item> <value>

In the above code,

<domain> - may be username/groupname/wildcard('*')
<type> - may be hard/soft/'-'
  • hard

To enforce strict resource constraints. The superuser sets these constraints, which the Kernel enforces. The user’s demand for system resources cannot exceed certain limits.

  • soft

Used to enforce soft resource constraints. These are the restrictions that the user can adjust within the range allowed by any pre-existing hard limits. For normal system usage, the values supplied with this token can be thought of as default values.

  • item> – may be nofile/nproc, etc.
  • value> – to be set value.

Set the entries as.

     soft            nofile               
     hard            nofile

For example:

user1           soft           nofile                   4096
user1           hard           nofile                  65536

Save the file with :wq

Login to the server as a user to check.

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