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Old 10-13-2015, 03:12 PM   #1
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strange issue with ulimits and VPS

I operate a dedicated server using Ubuntu 14.10 server. Recently, I needed to raise the number of file descriptors to accommodate the web software I'm running.
When I sit at the local terminal this is easy: I change /etc/security/limits.conf or set ulimits -n 4096 and everything's fine.
Strangely, when I try to do the same thing remotely using SSH, the ulimit -n command yields only 1024 file descriptors. The limits.conf has been changed and system remotely rebooted. I get the same warning message people have been complaining about for years: -bash: illegal operation.......
What's going on? I need to control this server remotely eventually.

Thanks for someone's help in advance, Arisbe

Last edited by arisbe; 10-13-2015 at 03:15 PM.
Old 10-13-2015, 06:28 PM   #2
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Have a look at your SSH PAM section.
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Old 10-21-2015, 02:46 PM   #3
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I saw nothing wrong with SSH PAM. After a number of trys, I finally got one to 'take.' Problem is resolved but issue remains. Thanks for the help.
Old 10-21-2015, 07:59 PM   #4
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limits.conf and the limits.d directory are used by the pam_limits module. If /etc/pam.d/ssh doesn't have a pam_limits line, or if it doesn't enforce it, the conf file is ignored. Otherwise try the debug option of pam_limits.

Edit: On a Centos 6.4 server I am currently looking at, there is no pam_limits line in /etc/pam.d/sshd. Thus, limits.conf won't have any effect on an SSH session.

Last edited by berndbausch; 10-21-2015 at 11:53 PM.
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