[OS X TeX] Odd TeXShop error: "couldn't fork"

Michael S. Hanson mshanson at wesleyan.edu
Fri Oct 12 15:12:15 EDT 2007

	I have a recurring error that may or may not be triggered by running  
TeXShop, but which nonetheless has me stymied.  Google turned up  
little, other than to suggest that it may be a Unix system-related  
problem (which is otherwise way over my head).  Although I have not  
experienced the extent of instability problems with TeXShop that  
others on this list have mentioned, I have noticed that I tend get  
this error if TeXShop (and the OS) has been up and running for a  
while (at least a week or two) and if I have opened several files in  
TeXShop simultaneously.

	The error is not directly seen in TeXShop:  very rarely has it  
crashed on me.  (Although it certain has, from time to time.)   
Rather, I see the problem reflected in other programs.  For example,  
if I try to open a new Terminal session, I see a blank window with  
the words "Completed Command" in the window title bar -- I do not get  
a prompt of any kind.  If I attempt to connect to a remote server in  
the Finder (via AFP), nothing happens -- except for a message in the  
console.log that says: "fork error: Resource temporarily  
unavailable".  (I get one message every time I click on the "Connect"  
button.)  Scrolling up in the (very, very lengthy) console.log file,  
I see something like "2007-10-12 11:26:34.851 TeXShop[17087] couldn't  

	Once my system gets to this point, the only thing I can do to clear  
the problem is to reboot it.  I am using a dual 2.7GHz PowerMac with  
3 GB of RAM.  (I'm not running out of memory as far as I can tell:   
Activity Monitor reports no page outs, with 1.51 GB inactive and 783  
MB free.)  I am running OS X 10.4.10, and TeXShop 2.10beta8.  I  
believe this problem occurred with earlier versions of the OS and  
TeXShop on this machine.  I have not experienced this problem on my  
home iMac G5 or my recently-acquired MacBook Pro, but I use both  
machines much less intensively then the PowerMac -- particularly for  

	There are a number of folks on this list who are much more Unix- 
savvy than I, so I am hoping for potential explanations -- and, if  
possible, remedies -- for this reoccurring problem.  Unfortunately,  
it does not happen regularly, and I have not been able to figure out  
exactly how to trigger it.  It does seem to require my Mac to have  
been running for a little while, as it usually takes a few weeks to  
show up -- although once I recall it occurring twice within the span  
of about a week.  Unfortunately, my Mac's uptime is now measured in  
similar time units.  Thanks in advance for any constructive suggestions.

                                         -- Mike

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