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resolved – su: cannot set user id: Resource temporarily unavailable

January 12th, 2015

When i try to log on as user "test", error occurred:

su: cannot set user id: Resource temporarily unavailable

I had a check of limits.conf:

[root@testvm ~]# cat /etc/security/limits.conf|egrep -v '^$|^#'
oracle   soft   nofile    131072
oracle   hard   nofile    131072
oracle   soft   nproc    131072
oracle   hard   nproc    131072
oracle   soft   core    unlimited
oracle   hard   core    unlimited
oracle   soft   memlock    50000000
oracle   hard   memlock    50000000
@svrtech    soft    memlock         500000
@svrtech    hard    memlock         500000
*   soft   nofile    131072
*   hard   nofile    131072
*   soft   nproc    131072
*   hard   nproc    131072
*   soft   core    unlimited
*   hard   core    unlimited
*   soft   memlock    50000000
*   hard   memlock    50000000

Then I had a check of the number of processes/threads with the maximum number of processes to see whether it's coming over the line:

[root@c9qa131-slcn03vmf0293 ~]# ps -eLF | grep test | wc -l
1026

So it's not exceeding. Then I had a check of open files:

[root@testvm ~]# lsof | grep aime | wc -l

6059

It's not exceeding 131072 either, then why the error "su: cannot set user id: Resource temporarily unavailable" was there? Actually the culprit was in file /etc/security/limits.d/90-nproc.conf:

[root@testvm ~]# cat /etc/security/limits.d/90-nproc.conf
# Default limit for number of user's processes to prevent
# accidental fork bombs.
# See rhbz #432903 for reasoning.

* soft nproc 1024
root soft nproc unlimited

After I modified 1024 to 131072, the issue gone away immediately.

Good Luck!


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