JIRA server: IO exception "Too many open files" then crashes

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JIRA is running out of open files descriptors in Linux environment eventually failing completely to function leading to a crash.

The following plugin is installed on the JIRA instance:  Exporter / Exporter - JIRA Issues to Excel & CSV  versions before v2.1.5

You can see similar exceptions in the logs:

2017-05-14 14:43:25,674 http-nio-8080-exec-10 ERROR anonymous 883x135283x1 1lds68b, /rest/usermanagement/1/search [c.a.p.r.c.error.jersey.ThrowableExceptionMapper] Uncaught exception thrown by REST service: java.io.FileNotFoundException: /opt/atlassian/jira/atlassian-jira/WEB-INF/lib/spring-security-crypto-3.1.0.RELEASE.jar (Too many open files)
java.lang.IllegalStateException: java.io.FileNotFoundException: /opt/atlassian/jira/atlassian-jira/WEB-INF/lib/spring-security-crypto-3.1.0.RELEASE.jar (Too many open files)
at org.apache.catalina.webresources.AbstractSingleArchiveResourceSet.getArchiveEntry(AbstractSingleArchiveResourceSet.java:97)
at org.apache.catalina.webresources.AbstractArchiveResourceSet.getResource(AbstractArchiveResourceSet.java:260)
at org.apache.catalina.webresources.StandardRoot.getResourceInternal(StandardRoot.java:280)
at org.apache.catalina.webresources.CachedResource.validateResource(CachedResource.java:95)
at org.apache.catalina.webresources.Cache.getResource(Cache.java:69)
... 4 filtered



Diagnostic Steps

  • Confirm the Open files limits on the OS and for JIRA using below commands:

    cat /proc/<JIRA_PID>/limits  
    cat /proc/sys/fs/file-max

    Open files should show as more than 1024 for default and something like 8192 or more for JIRA.
    OS one coming from file-max should be much bigger, it is set on kernel level typically can be bigger than 500k and can reach more than 1 million files.

  • Look for what kind of files are opened by JIRA using the command:

    lsof -p <JIRA_PID> >JIRA_open_files.txt

    Usually you might see some files like the below in the list:

    java    14317 xpkjir1p   78r   DIR             253,30      4096   7212034 /usr/local/pr/JIRA_Software/atlassian/application-data/jira/com.deiser.jira.exporter
    java    14317 xpkjir1p   79r   DIR             253,30      4096   7212034 /usr/local/pr/JIRA_Software/atlassian/application-data/jira/com.deiser.jira.exporter
    java    14317 xpkjir1p   80r   DIR             253,30      4096   7212034 /usr/local/pr/JIRA_Software/atlassian/application-data/jira/com.deiser.jira.exporter
    java    14317 xpkjir1p   81r   DIR             253,30      4096   7212034 /usr/local/pr/JIRA_Software/atlassian/application-data/jira/com.deiser.jira.exporter


The main issue is the older version of the Exporter plugin, it causes JIRA to create a lot of open temp files and thus will consume the whole open files allowed for the JIRA process eventually. 


  • Increase the Open files limit for JIRA so that It can last longer without crashing.

    Please check this Redhat article for doing this on Redhat systems and on CentOS: https://access.redhat.com/solutions/61334

  • Restart JIRA after applying the open files change.


Upgrade the Exporter plugin to version 2.1.5.

The Vendor has fixed this issue in that version and this should be a permanent solution for this issue.

Below are the steps provided by the plugin Vendor

Version 2.1.5  Released 2017-07-01  Supported By DEISER  Paid via Atlassian  Commercial

Resolved the problem that was affecting only JIRA instances installed on a CentOS/RedHat and was causing that with the time a lot of processes keep opened and was causing an impact on the instance.

IMPORTANT! If you have a CentOS/RedHat distribution, we strongly recommend following these instructions to prevent malfunctions:

1) Uninstall Exporter

2) Reboot JIRA (this will close the previous open connections)

3) Install Exporter again, the latest version (2.1.5)

Thank you so much for your patience and reporting.If you have further problems don't hesitate to contact us at our Service Desk: 



Last modified on Aug 22, 2017

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