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Inotify Initialization Error – Fix this quickly

by | Oct 15, 2021

Most often, we come across the Inotify Initialization Error due to insufficient value for the per-userid limit of inotify file descriptors.

Here, at Bobcares, we assist several of our customers with this query as part of our Server Management Services.

Today, let us see how we can fix this error.


Inotify Initialization Error

Some of the most common symptoms of this error include the following.

  • We cannot send emails from a Plesk server using a mail client. It will show the below error:

Your IMAP server wants to alert you to the following: Inotify initialization error

For example, Outlook.

  • It uses a courier IMAP server for IMAP/POP3 delivery.
  • Similarly, in the /var/log/maillog log file, we can find the following errors:

plesk courier-imaps: Failed to create cache file: maildirwatch ([email protected])
plesk courier-imaps: Error: Too many open files

Moving ahead, let us see how our Support Techs fix this error in an easy and effective way.

Initially, we connect to the server via SSH.

Then we check the current per-userid limit of inotify file descriptors:

cat /proc/sys/fs/inotify/max_user_instances

After that, we need to increase this value to a greater one via the command below:

echo “fs.inotify.max_user_instances=200” >> /etc/sysctl.conf

Here, we are increasing it from 128 to 200.

Make note that, the rough metric is the number of concurrent IMAP sessions multiplied by 4.

Eventually, we apply the changes by executing the command:

sysctl -p

Finally, we restart Courier-Imap services:

systemctl restart courier*

[Stuck in between? We are more than happy to help you resolve]



To conclude, here we saw how our Support Techs fix the Inotify Initialization Error.


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