Unable to launch gnome-system-monitor

Bug #1430068 reported by Vadim Peretokin
This bug affects 8 people
Affects Status Importance Assigned to Milestone
gnome-system-monitor (Ubuntu)

Bug Description

When you have too many open files, you can't launch gnome-system-monitor:

 $ gnome-system-monitor

(gnome-system-monitor:23720): glibmm-CRITICAL **:
unhandled exception (type Glib::Error) in signal handler:
domain: g-io-error-quark
code : 0
what : Unable to find default local directory monitor type

(gnome-system-monitor:23720): Gtk-CRITICAL **: gtk_window_present_with_time: assertion 'GTK_IS_WINDOW (window)' failed

ProblemType: Bug
DistroRelease: Ubuntu 14.10
Package: gnome-system-monitor
ProcVersionSignature: Ubuntu 3.16.0-31.41-generic 3.16.7-ckt5
Uname: Linux 3.16.0-31-generic x86_64
ApportVersion: 2.14.7-0ubuntu8.2
Architecture: amd64
CurrentDesktop: Unity
Date: Tue Mar 10 09:32:12 2015
InstallationDate: Installed on 2014-06-26 (255 days ago)
InstallationMedia: Ubuntu 14.04 LTS "Trusty Tahr" - Release amd64 (20140417)
SourcePackage: gnome-system-monitor
UpgradeStatus: Upgraded to utopic on 2014-10-27 (133 days ago)

Revision history for this message
Vadim Peretokin (vperetokin) wrote :
Revision history for this message
Launchpad Janitor (janitor) wrote :

Status changed to 'Confirmed' because the bug affects multiple users.

Changed in gnome-system-monitor (Ubuntu):
status: New → Confirmed
Revision history for this message
Justin Pavatte (justinpavatte) wrote :

Thanks for changing the status on this! I'll be glad to prove more system info it will help. I am using AMD64 just like original poster.

Revision history for this message
Rik Shaw (rik-shaw) wrote :

Not sure what causes the problem or how to fix it manually but a reboot cleared it up for me (same exact error message from terminal as original reporter). So after reboot it is working fine again. This is Ubuntu 16.04, btw.

Revision history for this message
Mitchell Nahikian (mitchellnahikian) wrote :

This has happened twice to me. The first time required a full re-image of my machine to fix it.
Then it randomly happened again today. The only thing I can associate with it was very high CPU/RAM usage (~100% on most of 32 cores and most if not all of swap space) when building with gcc72.
Ubuntu 14.04

Revision history for this message
Alan Knowles (roojs) wrote :

This seems to fix it :

echo 512 > /proc/sys/fs/inotify/max_user_instances

Revision history for this message
Homero Barrocas Soares Esmeraldo (homerobse) wrote :

I tried what Alan said, but I get Permission denied even when doing sudo:

~$ sudo echo 512 > /proc/sys/fs/inotify/max_user_instances
bash: /proc/sys/fs/inotify/max_user_instances: Permission denied

It did not work for me. Any ideas?

Revision history for this message
Max Mustermann (loremipsumbuntu) wrote :


> sudo echo 512 > /proc/sys/fs/inotify/max_user_instances

does not work because it won't open the file as root but as your current user. This is because "> /proc/sys/fs/inotify/max_user_instances" is not part of what sudo executes. The command is interpreted by your shell as follows: open the file "/proc/sys/fs/inotify/max_user_instances
" for writing and execute the programm "sudo" with the following arguments ["echo", "512"] and replace the output(stdout) of the program with said file for starting it. Since your shell is not running as root, it cannot open "/proc/sys/fs/inotify/max_user_instances" for writing.

You can either get a shell running as root (with "sudo -i" for example), or do "echo 512 | sudo tee /proc/sys/fs/inotify/max_user_instances". The 2nd way works by passing the output of echo to sudo with in turn will pass it on to tee which then will open the file, which it can do because sudo invoked tee as root.

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