How To: Umount when “device is busy” on linux.

The idea of this blog is to give help on things that crop up in our day to day lives, usually to do with technology.

As we encounter these problems, clearly the first thing we do is google it, but sometimes even google is lacking on that vital piece of information that has you sitting there for hours trying to work out. So we decided when that happens, we’ll write a blog post explaining what you have to do. Simple really.

Here’s one I encountered recently, having to umount a device on a linux machine thats currently ‘busy’. Frustrating to say the least. Here’s what I found that helped me. If you need a bit more information, please leave a comment and I’ll get back to you with all the help I can give.

# fuser -m /mnt/nas-tera

/mnt/nas-tera: 13899c
# ps auxw|grep 13899c
andy 13999 0.0 0.0 4588 804 pts/0 S+ 21:25 0:00 grep --color=auto 13899c
# kill 13899
# kill -9 13899
[1]+ Killed less /etc/passwd (wd: /mnt/nas-tera)
(wd now: /mnt)

I hope that helped you, I’ll go in to a bit more detail soon.


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Andy has been in IT support in the academic industry for over 7 years now, with an in-depth knowledge of both Windows and Unix based systems.

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