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I need to apply "ulimit -s 256" to any system thread. Is there any way to achieve this under Ubuntu Server?

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What about /etc/security/limits.conf ? Doesn't it solve the problem? –  HUB Jul 20 '11 at 13:07

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up vote 2 down vote accepted

You can set user limits via pam_limits in /etc/security/limits.conf. See man limits.conf for informations about this file.

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On Ubuntu 12.04 /etc/security/limits.conf does not appear to be read unless the following is added to /etc/pam.d/common-session.

session required pam_limits.so

Even then, it's not clear to me if it is picked up for programs started by upstart scripts.

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Note that there is also a commented line in /etc/pam.d/su: # session required pam_limits.so. –  CyberShadow Jan 17 '13 at 8:00

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