rafa rafa - 1 year ago 94
Linux Question

check if file is open with lsof

I'm using linux mint 13 xfce and I have a file named

that I'm trying to check in bash if it's open by any program (for instance, I opened it in

In many forums people say that if I run
lsof | grep filename
I should get
if it's open or
if it's closed, but in fact I get nothing (empty string) if I run using
grep "wv.gold"
, and get a little list if I do it using
grep gold

The list is something like:

bash 2045 user cwd DIR 8,1 4096 658031 /home/user/path/to/dir
bash 2082 user cwd DIR 8,1 4096 658031 /home/user/path/to/dir
watch 4463 user cwd DIR 8,1 4096 658031 /home/user/path/to/dir
gedit 16679 user cwd DIR 8,1 4096 658031 /home/user/path/to/dir
lsof 20823 user cwd DIR 8,1 4096 658031 /home/user/path/to/dir
grep 20824 user cwd DIR 8,1 4096 658031 /home/user/path/to/dir
lsof 20825 user cwd DIR 8,1 4096 658031 /home/user/path/to/dir

Thus, I get the path to the directory it is but NOT the path to the file (there are other files there) and either way only to
process, not to

Is there some easy way to see if a txt file is opened by any other program?

EDIT: It turns out (cf. comments from @mata and @ctn) that some editors load files and close them immediately, and they just reopen the file when saving it. This way, we can only see it when they are still opening a big file (since you have the time to observe it while opening) and it disappears immediately after that.

ctn ctn
Answer Source

The lines that appear in the output of lsof are open files. If your file is not there it means it is not open. Among the columns are PID (the process id of the program that has the file open) and the FD (the file descriptor associated with the open file). No particular value for these indicates open/closed. If it appears at all it means it's open.

Check out http://linux.die.net/man/8/lsof and search for the text contains the first nine characters

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