I keep running out of inodes (Ubuntu 14.04).

In my root mail I get the following message:

From root@web.site.com  Sun May 29 04:09:01 2016
Return-Path: <root@web.site.com>
X-Original-To: root
Delivered-To: root@web.site.com
Received: by web.site.com (Postfix, from userid 0)
    id 7D8B41A230A; Sun, 29 May 2016 04:09:01 -0400 (EDT)
From: root@web.site.com (Cron Daemon)
To: root@web.site.com
Subject: Cron <root@web>   [ -x /usr/lib/php5/sessionclean ] && /usr/lib/php5/sessionclean
Content-Type: text/plain; charset=ANSI_X3.4-1968
X-Cron-Env: <SHELL=/bin/sh>
X-Cron-Env: <HOME=/root>
X-Cron-Env: <PATH=/usr/bin:/bin>
X-Cron-Env: <LOGNAME=root>
Message-Id: <20160529080901.7D8B41A230A@web.site.com>
Date: Sun, 29 May 2016 04:09:01 -0400 (EDT)

/usr/lib/php5/sessionclean: 12: /usr/lib/php5/sessionclean: php5: not found

I believe that the last part refers to line 12 of the sessionclean file? Here is that:

session_config=$(php5 -c /etc/php5/${conf_dir}/php.ini -d "error_reporting='~E_ALL'" -r 'foreach(ini_get_all("session") as $k => $v) echo "$k=".$v["local_value"]."\n";')

My php.ini file is stored within .../php5/cli/php.ini. I even edited the sessionclean file to expressly refer to the php.ini file, and while the error when running the sessionclean command then stops, my sessions are still not cleaned out.

I am also running HHVM and have made some changes to my HHVM config (/etc/hhvm/php.ini) as follows:

session.save_handler = files
session.save_path = /var/lib/php5/sessions
session.gc_probability = 0
session.gc_maxlifetime = 1440

I have also tried editing the save path to /var/lib/hhvm/sessions and running the sessionclean command again and that does not work.

At the moment the only way for me to clean sessions is manually, using the following command:

cd /var/lib/php5 OR .../hhvm
find . -name "sess_*" -print | xargs rm -v

Does anyone have any ideas?

  • This is not an NGINX question and does not need that tag. – Thomas Ward May 31 '16 at 11:14
  • PATH issue? Can you set a full path to php5 bin and try to run it again? – user508889 May 31 '16 at 11:34
  • @bc2946088 thanks I have tried that and no longer get any errors when I run it manually, however monitoring the number of files in each of the two possible sessions directories /var/lib/php5 OR /var/lib/hhvm, I get the same result before and after running: root@web:/usr/bin# for i in /var/lib/hhvm*; do echo $i; find $i |wc -l; done /var/lib/hhvm 60929 root@web:/usr/bin# for i in /var/lib/php5*; do echo $i; find $i |wc -l; done /var/lib/php5 22641 – Matt May 31 '16 at 11:58
  • Check your memory as you run the script. There was a bug in php5 sessionclean, i'll see if I can find it. That being said, I think it's running but then running out resources and crashes. – user508889 May 31 '16 at 12:07
  • @bc2946088 Thank you I don't think it is memory issues, I have 32GB - 31997 12150 used 19847 free. I monitored when I when ran it. Is there any way to log what happens when I run the script? As you've probably guessed I am no expert I mainly diagnose any problems via Google searches and forums! – Matt May 31 '16 at 12:18

I solved this by changing the sessions directory to /var/lib/php/sessions in /etc/hhvm/php.ini. And then also hardcoding the variables in the sessionclean script /usr/lib/php5/sessionclean

#!/bin/sh -e


# Iterate through all web SAPIs
printf "$SAPIS" | \
while IFS=: read -r conf_dir proc_name; do
    if [ -e /etc/php5/cli/php.ini ]; then
        # Get all session variables once so we don't need to start PHP to get each config option
        session_config=$(/usr/bin/php -c /etc/php5/cli/php.ini -d "error_reporting='~E_ALL'" -r 'foreach(ini_get_all("session") as $k => $v) echo "$k=".$v["local_value"]."\n";')
        if [ "$save_handler" = "files" -a -d "$save_path" ]; then
            proc_names="$proc_names $proc_name";
            printf "%s:%s\n" "$save_path" "$gc_maxlifetime"
# first find all open session files and touch them (hope it's not massive amount of files)
for pid in $(pidof $proc_names); do
    find "/proc/$pid/fd" -ignore_readdir_race -lname "$save_path/sess_\*" -exec touch -c {} \;
) | sort -rn -t: -k2,2 | sort -u -t: -k 1,1 | while IFS=: read -r save_path gc_maxlifetime; do
    # find all files older then maxlifetime and delete them
    find -O3 "$save_path" -depth -mindepth 1 -name 'sess_*' -ignore_readdir_race -type f -cmin "+$gc_maxlifetime" -delete

exit 0

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