The Most Amazing Error Condition
I stumbled on a dumbfounding message today. It said: "The application Preview can't be opened -10810." I saw another one later that said: "The application TextEdit can't be opened -10810." I have seen strange errors when upgrading (I assume due to pieces of libraries cached in memory differing from the remaining code on disk), but I had not upgraded recently. Thinking that I may have run out of disk space, I decided to check "df -h". Opening a new Terminal window just said: "Could not open a new pseudo-tty."
"Huh. Thats odd..." A search brought up some old Linux threads mentioning a maximum number of processes-per-user. I couldn't think of any reason why I would have too many processes, so I went to an existing shell, typed "ps -ax" and got "fork: Resource temporarily unavailable." Further adding to the awesomeness of the situation. But, I had a possible out - if there were indeed too many processes running, I could sacrifice some and the problem would (temporarily) go away.
I did manage to run a "ps -ax", and I saw a large number of:
502 4344 ?? 0:00.00 (Google Chrome He)
502 4432 ?? 0:00.00 (Google Chrome He)
502 4433 ?? 0:00.00 (Google Chrome He)
... zombie Google Chrome processes! Hah! I have been running Chrome for long periods of time, and its process management system is not functioning correctly. Close Chrome, problem solved.
Man, that was a weird one.