kill all processes using a directory/file/etc

lsof|grep /somemount/| awk '{print $2}'|xargs kill
This command will kill all processes using a directory. It's quick and dirty. One may also use a -9 with kill in case regular kill doesn't work. This is useful if one needs to umount a directory.
Sample Output
lsof|grep /data/| awk '{print $2}'|xargs kill
kill 1635: No such process
kill 1635: No such process

4
By: archlich
2009-03-12 18:42:19

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  • This command kills all processes with 'SomeCommand' in the process name. There are other more elegant ways to extract the process names from ps but they are hard to remember and not portable across platforms. Use this command with caution as you could accidentally kill other matching processes! xargs is particularly handy in this case because it makes it easy to feed the process IDs to kill and it also ensures that you don't try to feed too many PIDs to kill at once and overflow the command-line buffer. Note that if you are attempting to kill many thousands of runaway processes at once you should use 'kill -9'. Otherwise the system will try to bring each process into memory before killing it and you could run out of memory. Typically when you want to kill many processes at once it is because you are already in a low memory situation so if you don't 'kill -9' you will make things worse


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What Others Think

ooooooooooooo!! NICE!
linuxrawkstar · 484 weeks and 3 days ago
Try this small refinement of including the grep in awk: lsof | awk '/somemount/ { print $2 }' | xargs kill saves one process and some typing...
philiph · 484 weeks and 3 days ago
Why not use? fuser -k /path/to/mount
goodevilgenius · 484 weeks and 3 days ago

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