Stale lock files

Polytropon freebsd at
Sat Jun 27 15:29:35 UTC 2009

On Sat, 27 Jun 2009 10:00:24 -0500, Charles Howse <chowse at> wrote:
> What are stale lock files?
> I've been having them for a few weeks now, they need to go away!

Lock files are used by several programs to indicate file-wise that
they are running. The lock file is created when the program starts,
and usually deleted when it ends. If it is interrupted (due to an
error or ^C), the lock file isn't removed.

Most programs remove stale lock files by theirselves when they are
started again (e. g. fetchmail).

It's possible that there are programs that refuse to start, because
the lock file (falsely) indicates that the program is already running.

The location of the lock file seems to depend on the respective

>From Magdeburg, Germany
Happy FreeBSD user since 4.0
Andra moi ennepe, Mousa, ...

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