No single symptom can reliably be used to determine whether the limits database has been corrupted, but there are a number of indicators that potentially reflect a corrupted limits database:
The detection of a group loop by the Solaris Resource Manager kernel is a positive indication that the limits database has been corrupted. Group loops are strictly prevented by Solaris Resource Manager, and they can only occur when an sgroup attribute has become corrupted in some way. Refer to Group Loops for more details.
Users seeing the message 'No limits information available' displayed when they attempt to log in, and their logins being rejected. This can occur if the corruption to the limits database causes their flag.real attributes to be cleared, which effectively deletes their lnodes. It will affect not only the lnode which is deleted, but also any lnodes which are orphaned (refer to Orphaned Lnodes for details). Note that the 'No limits information available' message will also appear if no lnode has been created for the account or if the lnode has been intentionally deleted, so it is not a clear indicator that the limits database has been corrupted.
Unrealistic values suddenly appearing in usage or limits attributes. This may cause some users to suddenly hit limits.
Users suddenly complaining of a loss of privilege or unexpected privileges, caused by corruption of privilege flags.
If an administrator suspects that there is corruption in the limits database, the best way to detect it is to use limreport to request a list of lnodes with attributes that should have values within a known range. If values outside that range are reported, corruption has taken place. limreport could also be used to list lnodes which have a clear flag.real. This will indicate accounts in the password map for which no lnode exists.