Solaris Resource Manager 1.3 System Administration Guide

Technical Description of Process Count

The fork(2) and vfork(2) system calls are used to create new processes. If this would cause the process limit to be exceeded, the system call fails, returning an EAGAIN error. Most programs interpret EAGAIN as meaning a temporary shortage of system resources and try the fork again, perhaps after a short sleep. If the fork failure is due to a Solaris Resource Manager limit, this can lead to looping for an indefinite amount of time because EAGAIN will be returned on each retry until the limit is fixed for the affected lnode.