fs.file-max sysctl

I‘m getting the following error in my nginx server error log file:

2010/04/16 13:24:16 [crit] 21974#0: *3188937 open() “/usr/local/nginx/html/50x.html” failed (24: Too many open files), client: 88.x.y.z, server: example.com, request: “GET /file/images/background.jpg HTTP/1.1″, upstream: “http://10.8.4.227:81//file/images/background.jpg”, host: “example.com”

How do I fix this problem under CentOS / RHEL / Fedora Linux or UNIX like operating systems?

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How do I increase the maximum number of open files under CentOS Linux? How do I open more file descriptors under Linux?

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