How to Change Ulimit Limit in Ubuntu

Written by andrea helaine
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The ulimit commands allows the administrator of a Ubuntu machine to change the number of processes (programs) a user can open. The typical desktop user will never have to change that option, as the default will provide him with more processes that he can run. However, certain types of servers often have a single-parent process that opens a new process for each individual user that connects to it and therefore will have their performances improved by raising the ulimit.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

Things you need

  • Administrator password for the Ubuntu system.

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  1. 1

    Go to the "Application" menu, then "Accessories" and then click on "Terminal."

  2. 2

    Type " sudo ulimit -u XXXX," with "XXXX" being a number between 1024 and 8096. The number between 1024 and 8096 will be the new amount of processes you can launch at any one time.

  3. 3

    Press "Enter," enter your administrator password and then press"'Enter" to change the amount of processes a single user can launch.

Tips and warnings

  • You can also use "ulimit -T" to set the limit of threads instead of the processes per user. One process can use several threads.
  • Linux is case sensitive. "T" is not equal to "t."

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