On Ubuntu 16.04 AWS system with 32 GB ram and 4 CPU, the following commands fail,

root@ip-10-0-0-189:/home/ubuntu# sysctl -w fs.file-max=10000000 **(ten million)**
fs.file-max = 10000000
root@ip-10-0-0-189:/home/ubuntu# ulimit -n 2000000 **(2 million)**
**bash: ulimit: open files: cannot modify limit: Operation not permitted**

Is there any upper limit on value that can be set on ulimit?


I have small investigation and able to change this situation on my Ubuntu 14.04. You should change fs.nr_open value in sysctl.conf, e.g. sysctl -w fs.nr_open=10000000, after this you could change your limits as you want.

root@:~# sysctl -w fs.nr_open=1000000
root@:~# ulimit -n 2000000
root@:~# ulimit -n

More info about this case I found in this answer.

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