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Getting "Errno = 24, Too many open files" while performing a restore operation

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Posted: 14 May, 2008

Getting "Errno = 24, Too many open files" while restoring

Error Message Seen:

If during a BRU restore operation you get the error message that says

can't open: errno = 24, Too many open files


Operating Systems (OSs) have a predefined limit that is set by the developer for that OS.  Most of the time, the limit is approximately 1,000 files.  After all, how often do you open 1,000 files simultaneously? The error message is occurring because this limit has been reached.

After BRU restores the files, indexing services (such as Spotlight on Mac OS X and Beagle on Linux) see the new files and perform an index on those newly restored files. During restore operations that included tens of thousands of files, the indexing process is trying to keep up with the speed of BRU's restore process, however, it is unable to do so. This causes the indexing service to have too many files open at one time and thus prevents BRU from properly completing the restore process.


Method One:

The simplest thing to do to fix this problem is to simply disable your indexing service for the duration of the restore process or in the event of restoring to a separate drive, simply turning off the indexing service for that drive.

Disable Spotlight:

$ sudo mdutil -i off /Volumes/DriveName

You will need to replace the "DriveName" with the actual name of the drive in which you are performing the restore operation.

Enable Spotlight:

$ sudo mdutil -i on /Volumes/DriveName

Again, you will need to replace the "DriveName" with the actual name of the drive on which you originally disabled Spotlight. Do this after the restore is complete.

Disable Beagle:

To disable Beagle, just modify the crontab entry or move it from /etc/cron.daily for the duration of the restore operation.

Enable Beagle:

To enable Beagle, after it has been disabled, simply revert the crontab entry to it's original value or move it back into /etc/cron.daily after the restore operation is complete.

Method Two:

Alternatively, you can tell the Linux operating system to allow a higher number of open files at once. Do do this, just perform the following steps.

  1. Login as root to the system you are restoring the files to.
  2. Stop the BRU Agent:

  3. # /usr/local/bru-server/agent --kill

  4. Increase the max number of open files:

  5. # ulimit -n 20480

  6. Start the BRU Agent:

  7. # /usr/local/bru-server/agent

If you are running Ubuntu Linux or if you have not enabled the Root account on Mac OS X , you will need to assign a password to the Root user before you can login as Root. To assign a password for Root, run:

$ sudo passwd root

If after making these changes you are still running into the error, try setting a higher limit in step 3 above or completely disabling the indexing service all together if you only stopped it for a drive.

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