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  • How to find all the process accessing a file in Linux

    There might be a case mostly observed while unmounting, you are unable to unmount a share even though as per your knowledge no one is accessing the share. The possible error which you might get is

    Device busy
    Mount Point busy
    Text File is busy

    In those cases you need to find out all the processes which are still accessing those paths or files which can be done using lsof or fuser command.

    For example you want to find out all the process which are using /mnt
    # fuser -uvm /mnt
                         USER        PID ACCESS COMMAND
    /mnt:                root       7899 ..c.. (root)bash

    or you can also use
    # lsof /mnt
    bash    7899 root  cwd    DIR   0,18 4096 535032 /mnt (

    In case you are pretty sure you want to kill all the process using /mnt run the below command
    # fuser -km /mnt
    /mnt:                 7899c

    Re verify
    # fuser -uvm /mnt
    So now none of the processes are using /mnt and it can be safely unmounted.

    Search for deleted processes occupying the filesystem

    Again I have seen cases where there are some deleted process which still lock the files unless their parent process or application relating to that process is completely executed. To view those files you might need to use extra parameters like as shown below
    # lsof +aL1 /var
    rhn_check 31261 root 8u REG 253,2 22082560 0 327733 /var/cache/yum/prod-03-epel-x86_64-server-5-rhel5/primary.xml.gz.sqlite (deleted)
    rhn_check 31261 root 9u REG 253,2 78848 0 327737 /var/cache/yum/prod-03-likewise-x86_64-client-5-rhel5/primary.xml.gz.sqlite (deleted)
    rhn_check 31261 root 10u REG 253,2 144384 0 327741 /var/cache/yum/prod-03-mssb-x86_64-server-5/primary.xml.gz.sqlite (deleted)
    rhn_check 31261 root 11u REG 253,2 54056960 0 327748 /var/cache/yum/prod-03-rhel-x86_64-server-5/primary.xml.gz.sqlite (deleted)
    rhn_check 31261 root 12u REG 253,2 9275392 0 327752 /var/cache/yum/prod-03-rhel-x86_64-server-supplementary-5/primary.xml.gz.sqlite (deleted)
    rhn_check 31261 root 13u REG 253,2 582656 0 327756 /var/cache/yum/prod-03-rhn-tools-rhel-x86_64-server-5-rhel5/primary.xml.gz.sqlite (deleted)

    When +L is followed by a number, only files having a link count less than that number will be listed. (No number may follow -L.) A specification of the form +L1 will select open files that have been unlinked. A specification of the form +aL1 <file_system> will select unlinked open files on the specified file system.

    I hope I made myself clear.

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    Follow the below links for more tutorials

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    Deepak Prasad

    Deepak Prasad is an anonymous techie and an author who is still trying to survive in this IT generation with very little knowledge he has on Linux/Unix, VMware, SAN Storage, Automation, networking etc

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    How to find all the process accessing a file in Linux How to find all the process accessing a file in Linux Reviewed by Deepak Prasad on Friday, September 26, 2014 Rating: 5

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