File descriptors

The Rundeck server process opens a number of files during normal operation. These include system and java libraries, logs, and sockets. Your system restricts the number of open file handles per process but these limitations can be adjusted.

If your installation attempts to exceed the limit, you will see an error like the one shown below in your service.log file.

Too many open files 

On Linux nodes

List the current limit with the ulimit command:

ulimit -n

If the limit is low (eg 1024) it should be raised.

You can get the current number of open file descriptors used by the Rundeck server process with lsof:

losf -p <rundeck pid> | wc -l

Increase the limit for a wide margin. Edit /etc/security/limits.conf file to raise the hard and soft limits. Here they are raised to 65535 for the "rundeck" system account:

rundeck hard nofile 65535
rundeck soft nofile 65535

The system file descriptor limit is set in /proc/sys/fs/file-max. The following command will increase the limit to 65535:

echo 65535 > /proc/sys/fs/file-max

In a new shell, run the ulimit command to set the new level:

ulimit -n 65535

The ulimit setting can be set in the rundeckd startup script, or profile.

Restart Rundeck.

Java heap size

The rundeckd startup script sets initial and maximum heap sizes for the server process. For many installations it will be sufficient.

If the Rundeck JVM runs out of memory, the following error occurs:

Exception in thread "main" java.lang.OutOfMemoryError: Java heap space

Heap size is governed by the following startup parameters: -Xms<initial heap size> and -Xmx<maximum heap size>

You can increase these by updating the Rundeck profile. To see the current values, grep the profile for the Xmx and Xms patterns:

Launcher installs:

egrep '(Xmx|Xms)' $RDECK_BASE/etc/profile

RPM installs:

egrep '(Xmx|Xms)' /etc/rundeck/profile

The default settings initialized by the installer sets these to 1024 megabytes maximum and 256 megabytes initial:

export RDECK_JVM="$RDECK_JVM -Xmx1024m -Xms256m"

Sizing advice

Several factors drive memory usage in Rundeck:

  • User sessions
  • Concurrent threads
  • Concurrent jobs
  • Number of managed nodes

For example, if your installation has dozens of active users that manage a large environment (1000+ nodes), and has sufficient system memory, the following sizings might be more suitable:

export RDECK_JVM="$RDECK_JVM -Xmx4096m -Xms1024m"

Quartz job threadCount

The maximum number of threads used by Rundeck for concurrent jobs by default is set to 10.

You can change this value, by updating either the file, or a file called

Please refer to the Quartz site for detailed information: Quartz 2.2 - ThreadPool Configuration.

Update rundeck-config

Use the properties mentioned in the Quartz documentation, but replace the org.quartz prefix, with the prefix quartz.props.

e.g. in :

quartz.props.threadPool.threadCount = 20

Set the threadCount value to the max number of threads you want to run concurrently.


If the file doesn't exist, create it.

  • RPM install: /var/lib/rundeck/server/exp/webapp/WEB-INF/classes/
  • Launcher install: $RDECK_BASE/server/exp/webapp/WEB-INF/classes/

To change the maximum threadCount modify this file and add the line:

org.quartz.threadPool.threadCount = 20

Set the threadCount value to the max number of threads you want to run concurrently.

JMX instrumentation

You may wish to monitor the internal operation of your Rundeck server via JMX.

JMX provides introspection on the JVM, the application server, and classes all through a consistent interface. These various components are exposed to the management console via JMX managed beans - MBeans for short.

Note: For more background information on JMX, see "Java theory and practice: Instrumenting applications with JMX.".

Enable local JMX monitoring by adding the flag to the startup parameters in the profile.


You use a JMX client to monitor JMX agents. This can be a desktop GUI like JConsole run locally.

jconsole <rundeck pid>

For instructions on remote JMX monitoring for Grails, Spring and log4j see: Grails in the enterprise.