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Determining rlimit (ulimit) values for a running process

Technote (FAQ)


How can I find out what limits are set for a currently running process?


The easiest way is to download the script and run it against the process. This tool will gather information about a process running on the system. It will not kill or interrupt the process as it is gathering the data. The pdump tool can be downloaded from IBM Support. Click on the "Download" tab to get the FTP link to the script.
The pdump Tool

There is no installation needed, only to change the permissions of the file so it can be executed:

$ chmod +x

Then run it against the process-id (PID) of the process you wish to examine. The script will create an output file containing information regarding that process.

# ./ 3408030

The output file will contain the name of the process, the PID and the current date. For example:


This is an ASCII text file and can be inspected with "more" or "view".

Determining the limit values
Limits in a process are kept in the user area or "uarea" of the process memory. This section in the pdump output starts with the title "Resource limits:"

Resource limits:

rlimit[CPU]........... cur 7FFFFFFF max 7FFFFFFF
rlimit_flag[CPU]...... cur INF max INF

rlimit[FSIZE]......... cur 3FFFFE00 max 3FFFFE00
saved_rlimit[FSIZE]... cur 000000003FFFFE00 max 000000003FFFFE00
rlimit_flag[FSIZE].... cur SML max SML

rlimit[DATA].......... cur 08000000 max 7FFFFFFF
saved_rlimit[DATA].... cur 0000000008000000 max 7FFFFFFFFFFFFFFF
rlimit_flag[DATA]..... cur SML max INF

rlimit[STACK]......... cur 02000000 max 7FFFFFFF
saved_rlimit[STACK]... cur 0000000002000000 max 0000000100000000
rlimit_flag[STACK].... cur SML max MAX

rlimit[CORE].......... cur 3FFFFE00 max 7FFFFFFF
saved_rlimit[CORE].... cur 000000003FFFFE00 max 7FFFFFFFFFFFFFFF
rlimit_flag[CORE]..... cur SML max INF

rlimit[RSS]........... cur 02000000 max 7FFFFFFF
saved_rlimit[RSS]..... cur 0000000002000000 max 7FFFFFFFFFFFFFFF
rlimit_flag[RSS]...... cur SML max INF

rlimit[AS]............ cur 7FFFFFFF max 7FFFFFFF
saved_rlimit[AS]...... cur 0000000000000000 max 0000000000000000
rlimit_flag[AS]....... cur INF max INF

rlimit[NOFILE]........ cur 000007D0 max 7FFFFFFF
saved_rlimit[NOFILE].. cur 00000000000007D0 max 7FFFFFFFFFFFFFFF
rlimit_flag[NOFILE]... cur SML max INF

rlimit[THREADS]....... cur 7FFFFFFF max 7FFFFFFF
saved_rlimit[THREADS]. cur 0000000000000000 max 0000000000000000
rlimit_flag[THREADS].. cur INF max INF

rlimit[NPROC]......... cur 7FFFFFFF max 7FFFFFFF
saved_rlimit[NPROC]... cur 0000000000000000 max 0000000000000000
rlimit_flag[NPROC].... cur INF max INF

The resource limit for each ulimit value is represented here. As values could be either 32-bit or 64-bit, the include file /usr/include/sys/user.h tells us how to read them:

* To maximize compatibility with old kernel code, a 32-bit
* representation of each resource limit is maintained in U_rlimit.
* Should the limit require a 64-bit representation, the U_rlimit
* value is set to RLIM_INFINITY, with actual 64-bit limit being
* stored in U_saved_rlimit. These flags indicate what
* the real situation is:
* RLFLAG_SML => limit correctly represented in 32-bit U_rlimit
* RLFLAG_INF => limit is infinite
* RLFLAG_MAX => limit is in 64_bit U_saved_rlimit.rlim_max
* RLFLAG_CUR => limit is in 64_bit U_saved_rlimit.rlim_cur

So using this and our pdump output, we can view the value of NOFILE for example:

rlimit[NOFILE]........ cur 000007D0 max 7FFFFFFF
saved_rlimit[NOFILE].. cur 00000000000007D0 max 7FFFFFFFFFFFFFFF
rlimit_flag[NOFILE]... cur SML max INF

The rlimit_flag for NOFILE is set to SML, so the value is a 32-bit integer, and is stored in the rlimit.cur variable.

0x7d0 = 2000 decimal, so the limit for that user, picked up by the process when it started, is 2000.

Document information

More support for: AIX family

Software version: 6.1, 7.1

Operating system(s): AIX

Reference #: T1022248

Modified date: 20 September 2017

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