ulimit provides control over the resources available to the shell and to processes started by it, on systems that allow such control

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Increase the maximum number of open file descriptors in Snow Leopard?

I am trying to do something that requires a large number of file descriptors sudo ulimit -n 12288 is as high as Snow Leopard wants to go; beyond this results in /usr/bin/ulimit: line 4: ulimit: ...