As root in a CentOs 6.4 server I got this error in an application:

Fri May 16 01:45:23 2014 Error: Terminating since out of inotify watches.
Consider increasing /proc/sys/fs/inotify/max_user_watches

But when I try to run the command as root I got permission denied.

# echo 100000 > /proc/sys/fs/inotify/max_user_watches
-bash: /proc/sys/fs/inotify/max_user_watches: Permission denied

Even if I edit the /etc/sysctl.conf I get permission denied:

# echo fs.inotify.max_user_watches=524288 | tee -a /etc/sysctl.conf
# sysctl -p
error: permission denied on key 'fs.inotify.max_user_watches

How can I solve this?

3 Answers 3


I found the answer.

This server is a VPS and it is running in a OpenVZ container and I'm not allowed to modify any kernel parameter of that container.

  • Ok, me too. So how do you fix it?
    – BlackCow
    Jun 30, 2015 at 0:05
  • If there's no option on your server provider control panel, try contact your server provider support for that. Jun 30, 2015 at 20:44

Give this a try, you can have the issue even running as root, is not related to wich user you use.

sudo /sbin/sysctl -p
  • The question explicitly mentioned that he go the error message while running as root.
    – kasperd
    Apr 20, 2016 at 14:15
  • Updated my answer, since it doesn't matter if you are root, I have experienced this issue. Apr 20, 2016 at 14:31

instead you can try command like below:

sudo sysctl -w fs.aio-max-nr=1231231

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