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php – Fatal Error – Too many open files

Posted by: admin April 23, 2020 Leave a comment


I try to run PHPUnit Tests in my new machine and I get this error:

PHP Fatal error: Uncaught exception ‘UnexpectedValueException’ with message ‘RecursiveDirectoryIterator::__construct(/usr/lib/php/pear/File/Iterator): failed to open dir: Too many open files’ in /usr/lib/php/pear/File/Iterator/Factory.php:114

The same code on the old machine run well…

New machine environment:
PHP Version: PHP 5.3.21 (cli)
Older: PHP 5.3.14

PHPUnit output every time:


Time: 34 seconds, Memory: 438.50Mb

There were 50 errors:

PHP Fatal error:  Uncaught exception 'UnexpectedValueException' with message 'RecursiveDirectoryIterator::__construct(/usr/lib/php/pear/File/Iterator): failed to open dir: Too many open files' in /usr/lib/php/pear/File/Iterator/Factory.php:114
How to&Answers:

This can be a limitation on the server where the code is running. Every operating system only allows for a certain number of open files/handles/sockets. This limit is usually further reduced when the server is virtualized. On a Linux server you can check the current limit with ulimit -n, if you have root access you can increase it with the same command. I assume there is a method for Windows server as well. Otherwise there is not much you can do about it (except ask your hoster or administrator to increase it).

More configurable limitations:

In /etc/security/limits.conf 
  soft nofile 1024 
  hard nofile 65535 
Increase ulimit by "ulimit -n 65535" 
echo 65535 > /proc/sys/fs/file-max 
In /etc/sysctl.conf 


How can you up file open limit (Linux or Max OS):

ulimit -n 10000

Solves problem with phpunit or/and phpdbg and Warning: Uncaught ErrorException: require([..file]): failed to open stream: Too many open files in [...]


In php, before the execution, try this

exec('ulimit -S -n 2048');


Don’t store DirectoryIterator objects for later; you will get an error saying “too many open files” when you store more than the operating system limit (usually 256 or 1024).

For example, this will yield an error if the directory has too many files:

$files = array(); 
foreach (new DirectoryIterator('myDir') as $file) { 
    $files[] = $file; 

Presumably, this approach is memory intensive as well.

source: http://php.net/manual/pt_BR/directoryiterator.construct.php#87425


After ‘waking’ my computer from sleep mode I ran into this problem.

Restarting php-fpm like so fixed it. Classic turn it off & back on again solution.

sudo /etc/init.d/php-fpm restart

I think this may be related to xdebug which I recently added to php.


Maybe, you have some error with file /etc/init.d/phpx.x-fpm.
Let’s restart it:

sudo /etc/init.d/php7.2-fpm restart


on server debian you can go to also to


rlimit_files = 10000

/etc/init.d/php7.xx restart