getrlimit, setrlimit --
control maximum system resource consumption
cc . . . -lc
int getrlimit(int resource, struct rlimit *rlp);
int setrlimit(int resource, const struct rlimit *rlp);
Limits on the consumption of a variety of system resources by a
process and each process it creates may be obtained with
getrlimit and set with setrlimit.
Each call to either getrlimit or setrlimit
identifies a specific resource to be operated upon as well as a
resource limit. A resource limit is a pair of values: one specifying
the current (soft) limit, the other a maximum (hard) limit. Soft
limits may be changed by a process to any value that is less than or
equal to the hard limit. A process may (irreversibly) lower its hard
limit to any value that is greater than or equal to the soft limit.
Only a process with appropriate privileges can raise a hard limit.
Both hard and soft limits can be changed in a single call to
setrlimit subject to the constraints described above.
Limits may have an infinite value of RLIM_INFINITY.
rlp is a pointer to an rlimit structure that
includes the following members:
rlim_t rlim_cur; /* current (soft) limit */
rlim_t rlim_max; /* hard limit */
rlim_t is an arithmetic data type to which objects of type
int, size_t, and off_t can be cast
without loss of information.
The possible resources, their descriptions, and the actions taken
when current limit is exceeded, are summarized in the table below:
The maximum size of a core file in bytes that may be created by a
process. A limit of 0 will prevent the creation of a core file.
The writing of a core file will terminate at this size.
The maximum amount of CPU time in seconds used by a process.
The maximum size of a file in bytes that may be created by a
process. A limit of 0 will prevent the creation of a file.
SIGXFSZ is sent to the process. If the process is holding
or ignoring SIGXFSZ, continued attempts to increase the
size of a file beyond the limit will fail with errno set
The maximum number of open file descriptors that the process can
Functions that create new file descriptors will fail with
errno set to EMFILE.
The maximum size of a process's single autogrow stack in bytes.
The system will not automatically grow the stack beyond this limit.
SIGSEGV is sent to the offending process. If that process
is holding SIGSEGV or if the containing process is
ignoring SIGSEGV or is catching SIGSEGV and the
process has not made arrangements to use an alternate stack
the disposition of SIGSEGV will be set to
SIG_DFL before it is sent. Consequently, the containing
process is terminated.
The maximum size of a process's mapped address space in bytes.
functions will fail with errno set to ENOMEM. In
addition, the automatic stack growth will fail with the effects
Because limit information is stored in the per-process information,
the shell built-in ulimit must directly execute this
system call if it is to affect all future processes created by the
The value of the current limit of the following resources affect
these implementation defined constants:
Implementation defined constant
On success, getrlimit returns 0. On failure,
getrlimit returns -1 and sets errno to identify
Under the following conditions, the functions getrlimit
and setrlimit fail and set errno to:
An invalid resource was specified; or in a
setrlimit call, the new rlim_cur exceeds the new
The limit specified to setrlimit would have raised the
maximum limit value and the calling process is not the superuser.