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Re: Information regarding problem when Windows cannot re-use PID numbers (FAQ?)

zenma <> wrote:
> Hello cygwin users,
> Some time ago i experienced a problem when compiling big programs under cygwin
> when Windows after some time stops allowing you to run any more processes with
> one of the following messages:
> fork: Permission denied
> Insufficient system resources exist to complete requested service.
> I have searched through cygwin mailing list to find any valuable info in order to
> solve the problem but found only other users reporting similar problem.
> The problem was clearly described by one of the users here, basically it is
> related to spawning of processes by Windows and when you run multiple processes
> (one by one, not in parallel) windows start growing PID numbers incrementally and
> does not re-use them when it should.
> I had to reinstall Windows to find what is causing it, and finally was able to do
> it. It was a Firewall software called Agnitum Outpost which was causing such a bad
> behavior. When i uninstalled this application problems have gone and windows was
> able to re-use PID numbers again as it should. This is related to both Outpost 1.0
> and 2.0 versions. This was tested on different computers (Windows XP [SP1]).
> I have sent a bug report few days ago regarding this problem to Agnitum.
> I know, this is not related to cygwin, but i thought it might be a valuable
> information to some people who ran into this problem and was not able to find the
> cause.
> P.S. Sorry for my bad english.

No need to apologise, and thanks for posting your findings.

Perhaps this could be added to the FAQ. It seems there's software out there
that gives cygwin grief (firewall, anti-virus, microsft ...) in this and similar
situations. You never know, someone might read it :-)

Something like:

  "Why do I get 'fork: Permission denied' in bash when I try and run
  a cygwin process?"

  The "Permission denied" error, in context with fork(), means that
  Windows is unable to spawn a new process. This could be down to
  resource limitation on the machine itself, or could have something
  to do with third-party software on your machine (like anti-virus or
  firewall applications) locking you out.

  Try de-activating such software to assertain whether or not the fault
  is with Cygwin or is related to ... If you don't have any such software
  installed, or you've tried the above and your still seeing problems,
  consider consulting the cygwin mailing list archives available here
  <> or ask for help on the cygwin list.

-- Elfyn

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