what is stuck here?!

Alex Zbyslaw xfb52 at dial.pipex.com
Tue Aug 23 18:48:59 GMT 2005

Garrett Cooper wrote:

> On Tue, 23 Aug 2005, Fafa Hafiz Krantz wrote:
>>> how come *nothing* happens when i rm -rf directory/?
>>> it just won't move ...
>>> top from another terminal tells me:
>>> 55272 root     116    0 14396K 13768K RUN      0:27 36.13% 35.40% rm
>>> what? the directory/ only contains a .maildir/, a .muttrc and an  
>>> empty directory
>>> it's not an immutable flag that has been set,
>>> chflags -R nouchg directory/ stands equally still to rm -rf
>> hello!
>>     Do you have any open filehandles as well in that directory? I  
>> could see this as being a problem if a program is keeping one or 
>> more  files open in a directory and in fact the program is blocking 
>> rm -rf  from completing its task. However, I've never seen Unix do 
>> this  before; this would instead be a problem inherent of Windows.
> -Garrett
BSD has never done that.  You can safely remove open files and the 
reference in the filesystem will disappear, but the underlying blocks 
won't disappear until the last open file reference has been closed i.e. 
the programs accessing the file continue working.


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