A strange problem. I run Emacs across a number of machines, with more-or-less a shared configuration.

However, on one specific machine, after some time I am no longer able to launch new emacsclient frames to make a connection to the locally-running emacs daemon. For many hours I will have no problems connecting new emacsclient to the daemon, but eventually it occurs. I usually find this after trying open a new emacsclient in the morning.

$ emacsclient -c
/usr/bin/emacsclient: connect: Connection refused
/usr/bin/emacsclient: No socket or alternate editor.  Please use:

    --server-file      (or environment variable EMACS_SERVER_FILE)
    --alternate-editor (or environment variable ALTERNATE_EDITOR)

Currently open emacsclient frames continue to function normally.

The opening of new emacsclient frames can be re-enabled by running (server-start), which of course kills off all of the currently open emacsclient frames.

Since the system behaves normally for some time after launching emacs --daemon (or emacs --fg-daemon, as appropriate), and since none of my other systems exhibit this behaviour, I'm at a loss of how to debug this.


1 Answer 1


Probably running out of I/O's? lsof(8) or ulimit might provide more information

  • Can you elaborate on your answer?
    – user12563
    Sep 3, 2019 at 9:11

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