Force unmount of NFS-mounted directory


I have an NFS-mounted directory on a Linux machine that has hung. I've tried to force an unmount, but it doesn't seem to work:

$ umount -f /mnt/data
$ umount2: Device or resource busy
$ umount: /mnt/data: device is busy

If I type "mount", it appears that the directory is no longer mounted, but it hangs if I do "ls /mnt/data", and if I try to remove the mountpoint, I get:

$ rmdir /mnt/data
rmdir: /mnt/data: Device or resource busy

Is there anything I can do other than reboot the machine?

This question is tagged with linux mount nfs umount nfsclient

~ Asked on 2008-09-02 19:04:44

6 Answers


You might try a lazy unmount:

umount -l

~ Answered on 2008-09-02 19:05:51


If the NFS server disappeared and you can't get it back online, one trick that I use is to add an alias to the interface with the IP of the NFS server (in this example,


The command for that is something roughly like:

ifconfig eth0:fakenfs netmask

Where is the IP of the NFS server that went away. You should then be able to ping the address, and you should also be able to unmount the filesystem (use unmount -f). You should then destroy the aliased interface so you no longer route traffic to the old NFS server to yourself with:

ifconfig eth0:fakenfs down

FreeBSD and similar operating systems

The command would be something like:

ifconfig em0 alias netmask

And then to remove it:

ifconfig em0 delete

man ifconfig(8) for more!

~ Answered on 2008-09-15 15:56:58


Try running

lsof | grep /mnt/data

That should list any process that is accessing /mnt/data that would prevent it from being unmounted.

~ Answered on 2008-09-02 19:12:05


I had the same problem, and neither umount /path -f, neither umount.nfs /path -f, neither fuser -km /path, works

finally I found a simple solution >.<

sudo /etc/init.d/nfs-common restart, then lets do the simple umount ;-)

~ Answered on 2012-12-27 02:41:39


Your NFS server disappeared.

Ideally your best bet is if the NFS server comes back.

If not, the "umount -f" should have done the trick. It doesn't ALWAYS work, but it often will.

If you happen to know what processes are USING the NFS filesystem, you could try killing those processes and then maybe an unmount would work.

Finally, I'd guess you need to reboot.

Also, DON'T soft-mount your NFS drives. You use hard-mounts to guarantee that they worked. That's necessary if you're doing writes.

~ Answered on 2008-09-15 16:06:19


Couldn't find a working answer here; but on linux you can run "umount.nfs4 /volume -f" and it definitely unmounts it.

~ Answered on 2012-08-31 07:55:08

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