What does 'too many open files' mean ?

Extracted from debian-user
Tip provided by Joe Emenaker
>i've recently reinstalled my debian system and i am now
>getting the following error message:
>Jan 12 09:00:15 random amd[1162]: setmntent("/etc/mtab", "r+"): Too many open files
>any ideas, or pointers to the fm are welcomed.
 The kernel's out of file handles. Go to /proc/sys/kernel and look at
 "file-max" as compared to "file-nr" as well as "inode-max" compared to
 "inode-nr". I think "nr" is the number currently in use... but I could
 swear I've seen it go higher than "max".
 Anyway, the solution is just to put larger numbers in the "max" files. In
 my /etc/init.d, I've got a file called "setmaxfiles.sh" that contains:
    echo "4096" > /proc/sys/kernel/file-max
    echo "12288" > /proc/sys/kernel/inode-max
 Then, I made a symlink to it from /etc/rcS.d/S37setmaxfiles.sh so that it
 will update the kernel structures every time it boots (as it goes through
 single-user mode).

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Appears in section(s) : kernel configuration
Tip recorded : 17-01-1999 19:12:42
HTML page last changed : 27-07-1999 20:11:04