[OS X TeX] "Too many open files" error - how to fix?

Gerben Wierda Sherlock at rna.nl
Fri Sep 6 04:16:23 EDT 2002

On Friday, September 6, 2002, at 12:45 , Gary L.Gray wrote:

> We have a substantial LaTeX document that gives the following error  
> when typesetting the entire thing:
> <Chapter-4/Section-4.5/ProblemFigs/HW_moments_J_300/ 
> HW_moments_J_300.pdf, id=15
> 01, 168.63pt x 124.465pt>
> <use  Chapter-4/Section-4.5/ProblemFigs/HW_moments_J_300/ 
> HW_moments_J_300.pdf>pdftex:  
> Chapter-4/Section-4.5/ProblemFigs/HW_moments_J_400/ 
> HW_moments_J_400.pdf: Too many open files
> LaTeX Warning: Reference `problem:HW_moments_J_300' on page 140  
> undefined on in
> put line 1416.
> LaTeX Warning: Marginpar on page 140 moved.
> We have never had this happen before. We suspect the "Too many open  
> files" error has something to do with the number of figures (we are  
> including pdf files using \includegraphics) in the document. Here are  
> the totals:
> 3 in Chapter 1
> 153 in Chapter 2
> 0 in Chapter 3
> 98 in Chapter 4

You seem to be hitting a hard coded open file limit (256) in TeX. This 
is strange as included figures should close their handles after 
inclusion, but maybe for some reason pdfTeX keeps them open. I have 
asked for help on the pdftex and texlive lists about this.

> The strange thing is that this document typeset before upgrading to 
> the  latest release of teTeX-TeXLive.

This may be coincidence, but we will look into it.

> In addition, when I run the  i-Installer and have it check the TeX 
> Foundation, it tells me:
> "An OLDER package version was found at the URL."
> If I click, "Yes, go ahead." -- it doesn't do anything.
> What is happening here?

If you really have the latest TeX-fat.dmg or TeX-thin.dmg it should be 
in sync with the i-Installer distribution (I just checked and I get 'no 
new package'). How your system gets the idea there is an older i-Package 
available is currently beyond me.

I would suggest making sure you really have the last i-Installer release 
by downloading ftp://ftp.nluug.nl/pub/comp/macosx/volumes/TeX-fat.dmg 
and using that. If you still have that problem, contact me off list and 
I'll see if i can help you find out what is wrong, though I'd rather 
keep as much time on developing i-Installer v2 instead of researching 
problems with v1.


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