How to Increase the Stack Size in Linux

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The stack is a section of memory that is set aside for keeping track of all the currently active function calls within a program. It is generally set high enough that it is almost never completely used up, but some precise recursive algorithms can consume the entire stack when trying to solve a complex problem. This will cause the entire program to crash. Generally, a crash like this is a sign of an error in the program, but sometimes the only remedy is to increase the stack size through the "ulimit" option.

  • Open a terminal. This can be done in Ubuntu by clicking "Applications," "Accessories" and "Terminal." The process may differ slightly for other versions.

  • Type the following command to see the current stack size:

    ulimit -s

  • Type the following to set a new stack size:

    ulimit -s 8192

    The value should be the desired stack size in kilobytes. The above example would set a stack size of eight kilobytes.

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