100 processes ought to be enough for anybody

I couldn’t resist to rework the famous phrase to portray 100 process per user limit in MacOSX. One would ask why would you ever want to run 100 programs. You don’t – it’s enough that every running Dashboard widget is a process. Every terminal window has multiple processes attached, of course, every application running (and they hide safely in dock even without windows). There’re as well various OS helper applications. At the moment when I type, there’re like 90 processes running on my system, and I’m not even doing any development work. There is a solution for that, hidden in operating system internals, but what should regular user do?

Imagine Apple keynote:

  • Presenter: Here I’ll add magnificient amazing superb Dashboard widget. Oh wait, it doesn’t add, something is wrong, haha, it happens sometimes, doesn’t it?
  • Voice from crowd: There’s a nice undocumented file that has nice undocumented option that you can change!
  • Presenter: Yay, see, our system can do pretty anything, even run more than 100 processes!

Create a /etc/sysctl.conf file and add following lines there:


Then type following commands:

sysctl -w kern.maxproc=2000
sysctl -w kern.maxprocperuid=1000

Then you’d have to log out (or restart) and login. Puff, magic capabilities activated. Thanks, Steve!

3 thoughts on “100 processes ought to be enough for anybody”

  1. Phil – try clicking on that “E” icon more than about 30 times. Works for me

  2. Seems u like to repair carburetter by yourself sometimes too ;-)
    (for others who do not understand – related to long discussion on #php…)

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