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How can I determine what process has a file open in Linux?

How can I determine what process has a file open in Linux?

I'd like to determine what process has ownership of a lock-file. The lock-files are simply a file with a specific name that has been created.

Asked by: Guest | Views: 88
Total answers/comments: 2
Guest [Entry]

"You can also use fuser for this:

~> less .vimrc
# put in background
~> fuser .vimrc
.vimrc: 28135
~> ps 28135
28135 pts/36 T 0:00 less .vimrc"
Guest [Entry]

"Having a file open is not a lock because, if each process has to check whether the file is open first and not proceed if it is or create/open it if it isn't, then two processes could quite well check simultaneously, both find that it isn't open, then both create or open it.

To use a file as a lock, the check-and-lock operation has to be a single uninterruptable operation. You can achieve this in a Unix filesystem by creating a file with read-only mode and removing it to unlock. If the file exists (and is read only) the file creation will fail, so you get check-and-lock in a single atomic operation.

If your locking process is a shell script that will be running as a daemon, you can get this effect by using umask, a per-process setting that sets the permissions that new files are created with:

umask 222 # create files unwritable to owner too
if echo $$ > /var/lock/foo
: locking succeeded
: locking failed
umask $oldumask

This also writes the owning process' PID into the file, which solves your other problem: cat /var/lock/foo

As regards the specific question ""Which processes have this file open?"", this can be useful when you want to unmount a filesystem but can't because some process has a file open in it. If you don't have those commands available, you can ask /proc as root:

ls -l /proc/*/cwd | grep '/var/lock/foo$'

or, as a mortal user:

ls -l /proc/*/cwd 2>/dev/null | grep '/var/lock/foo$'"