Find removed files still in use via /proc

find -L /proc/*/fd -links 0 2>/dev/null
Oracle DBA remove some logfiles which are still open by the database and he is complaining the space has not been reclaimed? Use the above command to find out what PID needs to be stopped. Or alternatively recover the file via: cp /proc/pid/fd/filehandle /new/file.txt
Sample Output
$ dd if=/dev/zero of=bigfile bs=1M count=3000
$ ls -lh bigfile 
-rw-r--r-- 1 u4x6691 unixadm 3.0G Jun 26 14:39 bigfile
$ df -h .
Filesystem            Size  Used Avail Use% Mounted on
/dev/sda1              36G   24G   10G  71% /
$ tail -f bigfile &
$ rm bigfile
$ df -h .
Filesystem            Size  Used Avail Use% Mounted on
/dev/sda1              36G   24G   10G  71% /
$ find -L /proc/*/fd -type f -links 0 2>/dev/null
$ ls -l /proc/2035/fd/3
lr-x------ 1 u4x6691 unixadm 64 Jun 26 14:42 /proc/2035/fd/3 -> /tmp/bigfile (deleted)

By: res0nat0r
2009-06-26 18:42:51

1 Alternatives + Submit Alt

  • Accidentally deleted some file while used by a program ? (Eg: a song) Use this command to find the file handle and recover using cp /proc/pid/fd/filehandle /new/recoverd-file.ext Show Sample Output

    ls -l /proc/*/fd/* | grep 'deleted'| grep "\/proc.*\file-name-part"
    totti · 2012-09-13 09:54:16 0

What Others Think

This will also work with: # lsof | grep deleted
res0nat0r · 639 weeks and 1 day ago
lsof is more efficient for finding files open files. But for quickly finding files that can be "undeleted", i.e. that are opened, so their content is recoverable, this command is great. Thumbs up.
zlemini · 598 weeks ago
Nothing lasts forever appreciation
yeoyeo · 5 weeks and 6 days ago

What do you think?

Any thoughts on this command? Does it work on your machine? Can you do the same thing with only 14 characters?

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