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UNIX in a Nutshell: System V Edition

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limit [-h] [resource [limit]]

Display limits or set a limit on resources used by the current process and by each process it creates. If no limit is given, the current limit is printed for resource. If resource is also omitted, all limits are printed. By default, the current limits are shown or set; with -h, hard limits are used. A hard limit imposes an absolute limit that can't be exceeded. Only a privileged user may raise it. See also unlimit.



Maximum number of seconds the CPU can spend; can be abbreviated as cpu.


Maximum size of any one file.


Maximum size of data (including stack).


Maximum size of stack.


Maximum size of a core dump file.


A number followed by an optional character (a unit specifier).

For cputime: nh (for n hours), nm (for n minutes), mm:ss (minutes and seconds),

For others: nk (for n kilobytes, the default), nm (for n megabytes)

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