fuser Man page

FUSER(1) User Commands FUSER(1)


fuser – identify processes using files or sockets


fuser [-fuv] [-a|-s] [-4|-6] [-c|-m|-n space] [ -k [-i] [-M] [-w] [-SIGNAL] ] name …
fuser -l
fuser -V


fuser displays the PIDs of processes using the specified files or file
systems. In the default display mode, each file name is followed by a
letter denoting the type of access:

c current directory.
e executable being run.
f open file. f is omitted in default display mode.
F open file for writing. F is omitted in default display
r root directory.
m mmap’ed file or shared library.

fuser returns a non-zero return code if none of the specified files is
accessed or in case of a fatal error. If at least one access has been
found, fuser returns zero.

In order to look up processes using TCP and UDP sockets, the corre‐
sponding name space has to be selected with the -n option. By default
fuser will look in both IPv6 and IPv4 sockets. To change the default,
behavior, use the -4 and -6 options. The socket(s) can be specified by
the local and remote port, and the remote address. All fields are
optional, but commas in front of missing fields must be present:


Either symbolic or numeric values can be used for IP addresses and port

fuser outputs only the PIDs to stdout, everything else is sent to


-a, –all
Show all files specified on the command line. By default, only
files that are accessed by at least one process are shown.

-c Same as -m option, used for POSIX compatibility.

-f Silently ignored, used for POSIX compatibility.

-k, –kill
Kill processes accessing the file. Unless changed with -SIGNAL,
SIGKILL is sent. An fuser process never kills itself, but may
kill other fuser processes. The effective user ID of the
process executing fuser is set to its real user ID before
attempting to kill.

-i, –interactive
Ask the user for confirmation before killing a process. This
option is silently ignored if -k is not present too.

-l, –list-signals
List all known signal names.

-m NAME, –mount


NAME specifies a file on a mounted file system or a block device
that is mounted. All processes accessing files on that file
system are listed. If a directory file is specified, it is
automatically changed to NAME/. to use any file system that
might be mounted on that directory.

-M, –ismountpoint
Request will be fulfilled only if NAME specifies a mountpoint.
This is an invaluable seatbelt which prevents you from killing
the machine if NAME happens to not be a filesystem.

-w Kill only processes which have write access. This option is
silently ignored if -k is not present too.

-n SPACE, –namespace SPACE
Select a different name space. The name spaces file (file
names, the default), udp (local UDP ports), and tcp (local TCP
ports) are supported. For ports, either the port number or the
symbolic name can be specified. If there is no ambiguity, the
shortcut notation name/space (e.g. 80/tcp) can be used.

-s, –silent
Silent operation. -u and -v are ignored in this mode. -a must
not be used with -s.

Use the specified signal instead of SIGKILL when killing pro‐
cesses. Signals can be specified either by name (e.g.
-HUP)orby number (e.g. -1). This option is silently ignored if
the -k option is not used.

-u, –user
Append the user name of the process owner to each PID.

-v, –verbose

Verbose mode. Processes are shown in a ps-like style. The
fields PID, USER and COMMAND are similar to ps. ACCESS shows
how the process accesses the file. Verbose mode will also show
when a particular file is being access as a mount point, knfs
export or swap file. In this case kernel is shown instead of
the PID.

-V, –version
Display version information.

-4, –ipv4
Search only for IPv4 sockets. This option must not be used with
the -6 option and only has an effect with the tcp and udp names‐

-6, –ipv6
Search only for IPv6 sockets. This option must not be used with
the -4 option and only has an effect with the tcp and udp names‐

– Reset all options and set the signal back to SIGKILL.

/proc location of the proc file system

fuser -km /home
kills all processes accessing the file system /home in any way.

if fuser -s /dev/ttyS1; then :; else something; fi
invokes something if no other process is using /dev/ttyS1.

fuser telnet/tcp
shows all processes at the (local) TELNET port.

Processes accessing the same file or file system several times in the
same way are only shown once.

If the same object is specified several times on the command line, some
of those entries may be ignored.

fuser may only be able to gather partial information unless run with
privileges. As a consequence, files opened by processes belonging to
other users may not be listed and executables may be classified as
mapped only.

Installing fuser SUID root will avoid problems associated with partial
information, but may be undesirable for security and privacy reasons.

udp and tcp name spaces, and UNIX domain sockets can’t be searched with
kernels older than 1.3.78.

Accesses by the kernel are only shown with the -v option.

The -k option only works on processes. If the user is the kernel,
fuser will print an advice, but take no action beyond that.


fuser -m /dev/sgX will show (or kill with the -k flag) all processes,
even if you don’t have that device configured. There may be other
devices it does this for too.

fuser cannot report on any processes that it doesn’t have permission to
look at the file descriptor table for. The most common time this prob‐
lem occurs is when looking for TCP or UDP sockets when running fuser as
a non-root user. In this case fuser will report no access

The mount -m option will match any file within the save device as the
specified file, use the -M option as well if you mean to specify only
the mount point.


kill, killall, lsof(8), pkill, ps, kill.

psmisc 2012-07-28 FUSER(1)