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HP-UX 11i Version 3: February 2007

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fuser — list processes using a file or file structure


/usr/sbin/fuser [-c|-f] [-ku] file ... [[-] [-c|-f] [-ku] file ...] ...


The fuser command lists the process IDs of processes that have each specified file open. For block special devices, all processes using any file on that device are listed. The process ID may be followed by a letter, identifying how the file is being used, as follows:


file is current directory of the process.


file is the root directory of the process, as set up by the chroot command (see chroot(1M)).


The process has file open.


The process has file memory mapped.


file is the text file of the process.

The process IDs associated with each file are printed to standard output as a single line separated by spaces and terminated with a single newline. All other output — the file name, the letter, and the user name — is written to standard error.


fuser has the following options:


Display the use of a mount point and any file beneath that mount point. Each file must be a file system mount point.


Display the use of the named file only, not the files beneath it if it is a mounted file system. This is the default.


Display the login user name in parentheses following each process ID.


Send the SIGKILL signal to each process using each file. You must have appropriate privileges to kill processes that you do not own.

You can respecify options between groups of files. The new set of options replaces the old set. A dash (-) by itself cancels all options currently in force.


fuser has the following operand:


One of the following values:

  • With the -f option, the name of a file.

  • With the -f option, the name of a mounted file system or special file.

  • With the -c option, the name of a file system mount point.


You can use fuser with NFS file systems or files. If the file name is in the format used in /etc/mnttab to identify an NFS file system, fuser treats the NFS file system as a block special device and identifies any process using that file system.

If contact with an NFS file system is lost, fuser fails, since contact is required to obtain the file system identification. Once the NFS file system is recontacted, stale file handles from the previous contact can be identified, provided that the NFS file system has the same file system identification.


Terminate all processes that are preventing disk drive 1 from being unmounted, listing the process ID and login name of each process being killed.

fuser -ku /dev/dsk/c201d1s?

List process IDs and login names of processes that have the password file open.

fuser -u /etc/passwd

Combine both the above examples into a single command line.

fuser -ku /dev/dsk/c201d1s? - -u /etc/passwd

If the device /dev/dsk/c201d1s7 is mounted on directory /home, list the process IDs and login names of processes using the device. Alternately, if /home is the mount point for an NFS file system, list process IDs and login names of processes using that NFS file system.

fuser -cu /home

If machine1:/filesystem/2mount is an NFS file system, list all processes using any file on that file system. If it is not an NFS file system, treat it as a regular file.

fuser machine1:/filesystem/2mount


fuser: SVID2, SVID3

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