lsof - list open files
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Lsof revision 4.57 lists information about files opened by processes for the following UNIX dialects:
- AIX 4.3.[23?, 5L, and 5.1
- Apple Darwin 1.[23? for Power Macintosh systems
- BSDI BSD/OS 4.1 for Intel-based systems
- DEC OSF/1, Digital UNIX, Tru64 UNIX 4.0, and 5.[01?
- FreeBSD 4.[23? and 5.0 for Intel-based systems
- HP-UX 11.00 and 11.11
- Linux 2.1.72 and above for Intel-based systems
- NetBSD 1.5 for Alpha, Intel, and SPARC-based systems
- NEXTSTEP 3.[13? for NEXTSTEP architectures
- OpenBSD 2.[89? for Intel-based systems
- SCO !OpenServer? Release 5.0.[45? for Intel-based systems
- SCO !UnixWare? 7.1.1 for Intel-based systems
- Sequent PTX 4.4[.46?, 4.5[.1?, and 4.6[.1? for Sequent systems
- Solaris 2.6, 7, 8, and 9 BETA
(See the DISTRIBUTION section of this manual page for information on how to obtain the latest lsof revision.)
An open file may be a regular file, a directory, a block special file, a character special file, an executing text reference, a library, a stream or a network file (Internet socket, NFS file or UNIX domain socket.) A specific file or all the files in a file system may be selected by path.
Instead of a formatted display, lsof will produce output that can be parsed by other programs. See the -F , option description, and the OUTPUT FOR OTHER PROGRAMS section for more information.
In addition to producing a single output list, lsof will run in repeat mode. In repeat mode it will produce output, delay, then repeat the output operation until stopped with an interrupt or quit signal. See the +|-r [t? option description for more information.
In the absence of any options, lsof lists all open files belonging to all active processes.
If any list request option is specified, other list requests must be specifically requested - e.g., if -U is specified for the listing of UNIX socket files, NFS files won't be listed unless -N is also specified; or if a user list is specified with the -u option, UNIX domain socket files, belonging to users not in the list, won't be listed unless the -U option is also specified.
Normally list options that are specifically stated are ORed - i.e., specifying the -i option without an address and the -ufoo option produces a listing of all network files OR files belonging to processes owned by user "foo". One exception is the `^' (negated) login name or user ID (UID) specified with the -u option. Since it is an exclusion, it is applied without ORing or ANDing and takes effect before any other selection criteria are applied.
The -a option may be used to AND the selections. For example, specifying -a , -U , and -ufoo produces a listing of only UNIX socket files that belong to processes owned by user "foo".
Caution: the -a option causes all list selection options to be ANDed; it can't be used to cause ANDing of selected pairs of selection options by placing it between them, even though its placement there is acceptable. Wherever -a is placed, it causes the ANDing of all selection options.
Items of the same selection set - command names, file descriptors, network addresses, process identifiers, user identifiers - are joined in a single ORed set and applied before the result participates in ANDing. Thus, for example, specifying -email@example.com, -firstname.lastname@example.org, -a , and -ufff,ggg will select the listing of files that belong to either login "fff" OR "ggg" AND have network connections to either host aaa.bbb OR ccc.ddd.
Options may be grouped together following a single prefix -- e.g., the option set "-a -b -C" may be stated as -abC . However, since values are optional following +|-f , -F , -g , -i , +|-L , -o , +|-r , -S , and -T , when you have no values for them be careful that the following character isn't ambiguous. For example, -Fn might represent the -F and -n options, or it might represent the n field identifier character following the -F option. When ambiguity is possible, start a new option with a `-' character - e.g., "-F -n". If the next option is a file name, follow the possibly ambiguous option with "--" - e.g., "-F -- name".
Either the `+' or the `-' prefix may be applied to a group of options. Options that don't take on separate meanings for each prefix - e.g., -i - may be grouped under either prefix. Thus, for example, "+M -i" may be stated as "+Mi" and the group means the same as the separate options. Be careful of prefix grouping when one or more options in the group does take on separate meanings under different prefixes - e.g., +|-M; "-iM" is not the same request as "-i +M". When in doubt, use separate options with appropriate prefixes.
- -? -h
- These two equivalent options select a usage (help) output list. Lsof displays a shortened form of this output when it detects an error in the options supplied to it, after it has displayed messages explaining each error. (Escape the `?' character as your shell requires.)
- This option causes list selection options to be ANDed, as described above.
- -A A
- This option is available on systems configured for AFS whose AFS kernel code is implemented via dynamic modules. It allows the lsof user to specify A as an alternate name list file where the kernel addresses of the dynamic modules might be found. See the lsof FAQ (The FAQ section gives its location.) for more information about dynamic modules, their symbols, and how they affect lsof .
- This option causes lsof to avoid kernel functions that might block - lstat(2), readlink(2), and stat(2).
- See the BLOCKS AND TIMEOUTS and AVOIDING KERNEL BLOCKS sections for information on using this option.
- -c c
- This option selects the listing of files for processes executing the command that begins with the characters of c . Multiple commands may be specified, using multiple -c options. They are joined in a single ORed set before participating in AND option selection.
- If c begins and ends with a slash ('/'), the characters between the slashes is interpreted as a regular expression. Shell meta-characters in the regular expression must be quoted to prevent their interpretation by the shell. The closing slash may be followed by these modifiers:
b the regular expression is a basic one.
i ignore the case of letters.
x the regular expression is an extended one
- See the lsof FAQ (The FAQ section gives its location.) for more information on basic and extended regular expressions.
- The simple command specification is tested first. If that test fails, the command regular expression is applied. If the simple command test succeeds, the command regular expression test isn't made. This may result in "no command found for regex:" messages when lsof's -V option is specified.
- This option disables the reporting of any path name components from the kernel's name cache. See the KERNEL NAME CACHE section for more information.
- +d s
- This option causes lsof to search for all open instances of directory s and the files and directories it contains at its top level. This option does NOT descend the directory tree, rooted at s , nor does it follow symbolic links within it. The +D D option may be used to request a full-descent directory tree search, rooted at directory D .
- Note: the authority of the user of this option limits it to searching for files that the user has permission to examine with the system stat(2) function.
- -d s
- This option selects the listing of files whose file descriptors are in the comma-separated set s - e.g., "1,3" or "6,cwd,2". (There should be no spaces in the set.)
- A file descriptor number range may be included in the set as long as neither member is empty, both members are numbers, and the ending member is larger than the starting one - e.g., "0-7" or "3-10".
- Multiple file descriptor numbers are joined in a single ORed set before participating in AND option selection.
- See the description of File Descriptor (FD) output values in the OUTPUT section for more information on file descriptor names.
- +D D
- This option causes lsof to search for all open instances of directory D and all the files and directories it contains to its complete depth. Symbolic links within directory D are ignored - i.e, not followed.
- Note: the authority of the user of this option limits it to searching for files that the user has permission to examine with the system stat(2) function.
- Further note: lsof may process this option slowly and require a large amount of dynamic memory to do it. This is because it must descend the entire directory tree, rooted at D , calling stat(2) for each file and directory, building a list of all the files it finds, and searching that list for a match with every open file. When directory D is large, these steps can take a long time, so use this option prudently.
- -D D
- This option directs lsof's use of the device cache file. The use of this option is sometimes restricted. See the DEVICE CACHE FILE section and the sections that follow it for more information on this option.
- -D must be followed by a function letter; the function letter may optionally be followed by a path name. Lsof recognizes these function letters:
? - report device cache file paths
b - build the device cache file
i - ignore the device cache file
r - read the device cache file
u - read and update the device cache file
- The b , r , and u functions, accompanied by a path name, are sometimes restricted. When these functions are restricted, they will not appear in the description of the -D option that accompanies -h or -? option output. See the DEVICE CACHE FILE section and the sections that follow it for more information on these functions and when they're restricted.
- The ? function reports the read-only and write paths that lsof can use for the device cache file, the names of any environment variables whose values lsof will examine when forming the device cache file path, and the format for the personal device cache file path. (Escape the `?' character as your shell requires.)
- When available, the b , r , and u functions may be followed by the device cache file's path. The standard default is .lsof_hostname in the home directory of the real user ID that executes lsof , but this could have been changed when lsof was configured and compiled. (The output of the -h and -? options show the current default prefix - e.g., ".lsof".) The suffix, hostname , is the first component of the host's name returned by gethostname(2) .
- When available, the b function directs lsof to build a new device cache file at the default or specified path.
- The i function directs lsof to ignore the default device cache file and obtain its information about devices via direct calls to the kernel.
- The r function directs lsof to read the device cache at the default or specified path, but prevents it from creating a new device cache file when none exists or the existing one is improperly structured. The r function, when specified without a path name, prevents lsof from updating an incorrect or outdated device cache file, or creating a new one in its place. The r function is always available when it is specified without a path name argument; it may be restricted by the permissions of the lsof process.
- When available, the u function directs lsof to read the device cache file at the default or specified path, if possible, and to rebuild it, if necessary. This is the default device cache file function when no -D option has been specified. lsof repetitively from a shell script, for example.
- +|-f [cfgGn?
- f by itself clarifies how path name arguments are to be interpreted. When followed by c , f , g , G , or n in any combination it specifies that the listing of kernel file structure information is to be enabled (`+') or inhibited (`-').
- Normally a path name argument is taken to be a file system name if it matches a mounted-on directory name reported by mount(8), or if it represents a block device, named in the mount output and associated with a mounted directory name. When +f is specified, all path name arguments will be taken to be file system names, and lsof will complain if any are not. This can be useful, for example, when the file system name (mounted-on device) isn't a block device. This happens for some CD-ROM file systems.
- When -f is specified, all path name arguments will be taken to be simple files. Thus, for example, the "-f\ /" arguments direct lsof to search for open files with a `/' path name, not all open files in the `/' (root) file system.
- Be careful to make sure +f is properly terminated and isn't followed by a character (e.g., of the file or file system name) that might be taken as a parameter. For example, use "--" after +f as in this example.
$ lsof +f -- /file/system/name
- The listing of information from kernel file structures, requested with the +f [cfgGn? option form, is normally inhibited, and is not available for some dialects - e.g., /proc-based Linux. When the prefix to f is a plus sign (`+'), these characters request file structure information:
c file structure use count
f file structure address
g file flag abbreviations
G file flags in hexadecimal
n file structure node address
- When the prefix is minus (`-') the same characters disable the listing of the indicated values.
- File structure addresses, use counts, flags, and node addresses may be used to detect more readily identical files inherited by child processes and identical files in use by different processes. Lsof column output can be sorted by output columns holding the values and listed to identify identical file use, or lsof field output can be parsed by an AWK or Perl post-filter script.
- -F f
- This option specifies a character list, f , that selects the fields to be output for processing by another program, and the character that terminates each output field. Each field to be output is specified with a single character in f . The field terminator defaults to NL, but may be changed to NUL (000). See the OUTPUT FOR OTHER PROGRAMS section for a description of the field identification characters and the field output process.
- When the field selection character list is empty, all fields are selected and the NL field terminator is used.
- When the field selection character list contains only a zero (`0'), all fields are selected and the NUL terminator character is used.
- Other combinations of fields and their associated field terminator character must be set with explicit entries in f , as described in the OUTPUT FOR OTHER PROGRAMS section.
- When a field selection character identifies an item lsof does not normally list - e.g., PPID, selected with -R - specification of the field character - e.g., "-FR" - also selects the listing of the item.
- When the field selection character list contains the single character `?', lsof will display a help list of the field identification characters. (Escape the `?' character as your shell requires.)
- -g [s?
- This option selects the listing of files for the processes whose optional process group IDentification (PGID) numbers are in the comma-separated set s - e.g., "123" or "123,456". (There should be no spaces in the set.)
- Multiple PGID numbers are joined in a single ORed set before participating in AND option selection.
- The -g option also enables the output display of PGID numbers. When specified without a PGID set that's all it does.
- -i [i?
- This option selects the listing of files any of whose Internet address matches the address specified in i. If no address is specified, this option selects the listing of all Internet and x.25 (HP-UX) network files.
- Multiple addresses (up to a limit of 100) may be specified with multiple -i options. (A port number or service name range is counted as one address.) They are joined in a single ORed set before participating in AND option selection.
- An Internet address is specified in the form:
- protocol is a protocol name - TCP or UDP.
hostname is an Internet host name.
hostaddr is a numeric Internet IPv4 address in dot form; or an IPv6 numeric address in colon form, enclosed in brackets.
service is an /etc/services name - e.g., smtp - or list of them.
port is a port number, or list of them.
- IPv6 numeric host addresses may be specified only if the UNIX dialect supports them. To see if the dialect supports IPv6 addresses, run lsof and specify the -h or -? (help) option. If the displayed description of the -i option contains "IPv[46?", IPv6 addresses are supported.
- At least one address component - protocol , host specification, service or port specification - must be supplied. The `@' character, leading the host specification, is always required; as is the `:', leading the port specification. Specify either hostname or hostaddr . Specify either service name list or port number list. If a service name list is specified, the protocol may also need to be specified if the TCP and UDP port numbers for the service name are different. Use any case - lower or upper - for protocol .
- Service names and port numbers may be combined in a list whose entries are separated by commas and whose numeric range entries are separated by minus signs. There may be no embedded spaces, and all service names must belong to the specified protocol . Since service names may contain embedded minus signs, the staring entry of a range can't be a service name; it can be a port number, however.
- Here are some sample addresses:
TCP:25 - TCP and port 25
@126.96.36.199 - Internet IPv4 host address 188.8.131.52
@1ebc::1?:1234 - Internet IPv6 host address
3ffe:1ebc::1, port 1234
UDP:who - UDP who service port
TCP@vic.cc:513 - TCP, port 513 and host name vic.cc
tcp@foo:1-10,smtp,99 - TCP, ports 1 through 10,
service name smtp, port 99, host name foo
tcp@bar:smtp-nameserver - TCP, ports smtp through
nameserver, host bar
:time - either TCP or UDP time service port
- -k k
- This option specifies a kernel name list file, k , in place of /vmunix, /mach, etc. This option is not available under AIX on the IBM RISC/System 6000.
- This option inhibits the conversion of user ID numbers to login names. It is also useful when login name lookup is working improperly or slowly.
- +|-L [l?
- This option enables (`+') or disables (`-') the listing of file link counts, where they are available - e.g., they aren't available for sockets, or most FIFOs and pipes.
- When +L is specified without a following number, all link counts will be listed. When -L is specified (the default), no link counts will be listed.
- When +L is followed by a number, only files having a link count less than that number will be listed. (No number may follow -L .) A specification of the form "+L1" will select open files that have been unlinked. A specification of the form "+aL1\ <file_system>" will select unlinked open files on the specified file system.
- For other link count comparisons, use field output (-F) and a post-processing script.
- -m m
- This option specifies a kernel memory file, c , in place of /dev/kmem or /dev/mem - e.g., a crash dump file.
- Enables (+) or disables (-) the reporting of portmapper registrations for local TCP and UDP ports. The default reporting mode is set by the lsof builder with the HASPMAPENABLED #define in the dialect's machine.h header file; lsof is distributed with the HASPMAPENABLED #define deactivated, so portmapper reporting is disabled by default and must be requested with +M . Specifying lsof's -h or -? option will report the default mode. Disabling portmapper registration when it is already disabled or enabling it when already enabled is acceptable. in a warning.
- When portmapper registration reporting is enabled, lsof displays the portmapper registration (if any) for local TCP or UDP ports in square brackets immediately following the port numbers or service names - e.g., ":1234[name?" or ":name[100083?". The registration information may be a name or number, depending on what the registering program supplied to the portmapper when it registered the port.
- When portmapper registration reporting is enabled, lsof may run a little more slowly or even become blocked when access to the portmapper becomes congested or stopped. Reverse the reporting mode to determine if portmapper registration reporting is slowing or blocking lsof .
- For purposes of portmapper registration reporting lsof considers a TCP or UDP port local if: it is found in the local part of its containing kernel structure; or if it is located in the foreign part of its containing kernel structure and the local and foreign Internet addresses are the same; or if it is located in the foreign part of its containing kernel structure and the foreign Internet address is INADDR_LOOPBACK (127.0.0.1). This rule may make lsof ignore some foreign ports on machines with multiple interfaces when the foreign Internet address is on a different interface from the local one.
- See the lsof FAQ (The FAQ section gives its location.) for further discussion of portmapper registration reporting issues.
- This option inhibits the conversion of network numbers to host names for network files. Inhibiting conversion may make lsof run faster. It is also useful when host name lookup is not working properly.
- This option selects the listing of NFS files.
- This option directs lsof to display file offset at all times. It causes the SIZE/OFF output column title to be changed to OFFSET. Note: on some UNIX dialects lsof can't obtain accurate or consistent file offset information from its kernel data sources, sometimes just for particular kinds of files (e.g., socket files.) Consult the lsof FAQ (The FAQ section gives its location.) for more information.
- The -o and -s options are mutually exclusive; they can't both be specified. When neither is specified, lsof displays whatever value - size or offset - is appropriate and available for the type of the file.
- -o o
- This option defines the number of decimal digits (o) to be printed after the "0t" for a file offset before the form is switched to "0x...". An o value of zero (unlimited) directs lsof to use the "0t" form for all offset output.
- This option does NOT direct lsof to display offset at all times; specify -o (without a trailing number) to do that. This option only specifies the number of digits after "0t" in either mixed size and offset or offset-only output. Thus, for example, to direct lsof to display offset at all times with a decimal digit count of 10, use:
- The default number of digits allowed after "0t" is normally 8, but may have been changed by the lsof builder. Consult the description of the -o o option in the output of the -h or -? option to determine the default that is in effect.
- This option directs lsof to bypass the strategy it uses to avoid being blocked by some kernel operations - i.e., doing them in forked child processes. See the BLOCKS AND TIMEOUTS and AVOIDING KERNEL BLOCKS sections for more information on kernel operations that may block lsof .
- While use of this option will reduce lsof startup overhead, it may also cause lsof to hang when the kernel doesn't respond to a function. Use this option cautiously.
- -p s
- This option selects the listing of files for the processes whose ID numbers are in the comma-separated set s - e.g., "123" or "123,456". (There should be no spaces in the set.)
- Multiple process ID numbers are joined in a single ORed set before participating in AND option selection.
- This option inhibits the conversion of port numbers to port names for network files. Inhibiting the conversion may make lsof run a little faster. It is also useful when host name lookup is not working properly.
- +|-r [t?
- This option puts lsof in repeat mode. There lsof lists open files as selected by other options, delays t seconds (default fifteen), then repeats the listing, delaying and listing repetitively until stopped by a condition defined by the prefix to the option.
- If the prefix is a `-', repeat mode is endless. Lsof must be terminated with an interrupt or quit signal.
- If the prefix is `+', repeat mode will end the first cycle no open files are listed - and of course when lsof is stopped with an interrupt or quit signal. When repeat mode ends because no files are listed, the process exit code will be zero if any open files were ever listed; one, if none were ever listed.
- Lsof marks the end of each listing: if field output is in progress (the -F , option has been specified), the marker is `m'; otherwise the marker is "========". The marker is followed by a NL character.
- Repeat mode reduces lsof startup overhead, so it is more efficient to use this mode than to call lsof repetitively from a shell script, for example.
- To use repeat mode most efficiently, accompany +|-r with specification of other lsof selection options, so the amount of kernel memory access lsof does will be kept to a minimum. Options that filter at the process level - e.g., -c , -g , -p , -u - are the most efficient selectors.
- Repeat mode is useful when coupled with field output (see the -F , option description) and a supervising awk or Perl script.
- This option directs lsof to list the Parent Process IDentification number in the PPID column.
- This option directs lsof to display file size at all times. It causes the SIZE/OFF output column title to be changed to SIZE. If the file does not have a size, nothing is displayed.
- The -o (without a following decimal digit count) and -s options are mutually exclusive; they can't both be specified. When neither is specified, lsof displays whatever value - size or offset - is appropriate and available for the type of file.
- Since some types of files don't have true sizes - sockets, FIFOs, pipes, etc. - lsof displays for their sizes the content amounts in their associated kernel buffers, if possible.
- -S [t?
- This option specifies an optional time-out seconds value for kernel functions - lstat(2), readlink(2), and stat(2) - that might otherwise deadlock. The minimum for t is two; the default, fifteen; when no value is specified, the default is used.
- See the BLOCKS AND TIMEOUTS section for more information.
- -T [t?
- This option controls the reporting of some TCP/TPI information, also reported by netstat(1), following the network addresses. In normal output the information appears in parentheses, each item except state identified by a keyword, followed by `=', separated from others by a single space:
<TCP or TPI state name>
QR=<read queue length>
QS=<send queue length>
WR=<window read length> (not all dialects)
WW=<window write length> (not all dialects)
- When the field output mode is in effect (See OUTPUT FOR OTHER PROGRAMS .) each item appears as a field with a `T' leading character, and the TCP or TPI state name has the prefix "ST=".
- -T with no following key characters disables TCP/TPI information reporting.
- -T with following characters selects the reporting of specific TCP/TPI information:
q selects queue length reporting.
s selects state reporting.
w selects window size reporting (not
- State is reported by default. The -h or -? help output for the -T option will show whether window size reporting can be requested.
- When -T is used to select information - i.e., it is followed by one or more selection characters - the displaying of state is disabled by default, and it must be explicitly selected again in the characters following -T . (In effect, then, the default is equivalent to -Ts .) For example, if queue lengths and state are desired, use -Tqs .
- This option specifies that lsof should produce terse output with process identifiers only and no header - e.g., so that the output may be piped to kill(1). This option selects the -w option.
- -u s
- This option selects the listing of files for the user whose login names or user ID numbers are in the comma-separated set s - e.g., "abe", or "548,root". (There should be no spaces in the set.)
- Multiple login names or user ID numbers are joined in a single ORed set before participating in AND option selection.
- If a login name or user ID is preceded by a `^', it becomes a negation - i.e., files of processes owned by the login name or user ID will never be listed. A negated login name or user ID selection is neither ANDed nor ORed with other selections; it is applied before all other selections and absolutely excludes the listing of the files of the process. For example, to direct lsof to exclude the listing of files belonging to root processes, specify "-u^root" or "-u^0".
- This option selects the listing of UNIX domain socket files.
- This option selects the listing of lsof version information, including: revision number; when the lsof binary was constructed; who constructed the binary and where; the name of the compiler used to construct the lsof binary; the version number of the compiler when readily available; the compiler and loader flags used to construct the lsof binary; and system information, typically the output of uname 's -a option.
- This option directs lsof to indicate the items it was asked to list and failed to find - command names, file names, Internet addresses or files, login names, NFS files, PIDs, PGIDs, and UIDs.
- When other options are ANDed to search options, lsof may not report that it failed to find a search item when an ANDed option prevents the listing of the open file containing the located search item. For example, "lsof -V -iTCP@foobar -a -d 999" may not report a failure to locate open files at "TCP@foobar" and may not list any, if none have a file descriptor number of 999.
- Enables (+) or disables (-) the suppression of warning messages.
- The lsof builder may choose to have warning messages disabled or enabled by default. The default warning message state is indicated in the output of the -h or -? option. Disabling warning messages when they are already disabled or enabling them when already enabled is acceptable.
- The -t option selects the -w option.
- This is a dialect-specific option. \w'names'u+4 \ \ \ \ AIX:
WARNING: use of this option on a busy AIX system might cause an application process to hang so completely that it can neither be killed nor stopped. I have never seen this happen or had a report of it, but I think the possibility exists.
- This IBM AIX RISC/System 6000 -X option directs lsof to use the kernel readx() function. (By default use of readx() is disabled.) On AIX 5L and above lsof may need setuid-root permission to perform the actions this option requests.
- The lsof builder may specify that the -X option be restricted to processes whose real UID is root. If that has been done, the -X option will not appear in the -h or -? help output unless the real UID of the lsof process is root. The default lsof distribution allows any UID to specify -X, so by default it will appear in the help output.
- When AIX readx() use is disabled, lsof may not be able to report information for all text and loader file references, but it may also avoid exacerbating an AIX kernel directory search kernel error, known as the Stale Segment ID bug.
- When readx() is enabled, lsof will attempt to report information on the text file being executed by each process and the shared libraries it uses.
- The readx() function, used by lsof or any other program, to access some sections of kernel virtual memory, can trigger the Stale Segment ID bug. It can cause the kernel's dir_search() function erroneously to believe that part of an in-memory copy of a file system directory has been zeroed. Another application process, distinct from lsof , asking the kernel to search the directory - e.g., by using open(2) - can cause dir_search() to loop forever, thus hanging the application process.
- Consult the lsof FAQ (The FAQ section gives its location.) and the 00README file of the lsof distribution for a more complete description of the Stale Segment ID bug, its APAR, and methods for defining readx() use when compiling lsof . \w'names'u+4 \ \ \ \ PTX:
This Sequent PTX -X option directs lsof to list the file use count and inode address from the file structure. Its effect is equivalent to +fcf with these exceptions: the NODE-ID column title will be changed to INODE-ADDR; and the only value listed in the INODE-ADDR column will be the kernel inode structure address for files that use an inode.
- The file use count (decimal) indicates the number of concurrent users of the file descriptor. The kernel inode address (hexadecimal) is a value sometimes useful when working with a malfunctioning system. (Also see the manual page for the PTX crash(1)? application.)
- The double minus sign option is a marker that signals the end of the keyed options. It may be used, for example, when the first file name begins with a minus sign. It may also be used when the absence of a value for the last keyed option must be signified by the presence of a minus sign in the following option and before the start of the file names.
- These are path names of specific files to list. Symbolic links are resolved before use. The first name may be separated from the preceding options with the "--" option.
- If a name is the mounted-on directory of a file system or the device of the file system, lsof will list all the files open on the file system. To be considered a file system, the name must match a mounted-on directory name in mount(8) output, or match the name of a block device associated with a mounted-on directory name. The +|-f option may be used to force lsof to consider a name a file system identifier (+f) or a simple file (-f).
- If name is a path to a directory that is not the mounted-on directory name of a file system, it is treated just as a regular file is treated - i.e., its listing is restricted to processes that have it open as a file or as a process-specific directory, such as the root or current working directory. To request that lsof look for open files inside a directory name, use the +d s and +D D options.
- If a name is the base name of a family of multiplexed files - e. g, AIX's /dev/pt[cs? - lsof will list all the associated multipled files on the device that are open - e.g., /dev/pt[cs?/1 , /dev/pt[cs?/2 , etc.
- If a name is a UNIX domain socket name, lsof will search for it by the characters of the name alone - exactly as it is specified and is recorded in the kernel socket structure. Specifying a relative path - e.g., ./file - in place of the file's absolute path - e.g., /tmp/file - won't work because lsof must match the characters you specify with what it finds in the kernel UNIX domain socket structures.
- If a name is none of the above, lsof will list any open files whose device and inode match that of the specified path name .
- If you have also specified the -b option, the only names you may safely specify are file systems for which your mount table supplies alternate device numbers. See the AVOIDING KERNEL BLOCKS and ALTERNATE DEVICE NUMBERS sections for more information.
- Multiple file names are joined in a single ORed set before participating in AND option selection.
- Lsof supports the recognition of AFS files for these dialects (and AFS versions)
AIX 4.1.4 (AFS 3.4a)
HP-UX 9.0.5 (AFS 3.4a)
Linux 1.2.13 (AFS 3.3)
Solaris 2.[56? (AFS 3.4a)
Ultrix 4.2 RISC (AFS 3.2b) (no longer available)
It may recognize AFS files on other versions of these dialects, but has not been tested there. Depending on how AFS is implemented, lsof may recognize AFS files in other dialects, or may have difficulties recognizing AFS files in the supported dialects.
Lsof may have trouble identifying all aspects of AFS files in supported dialects when AFS kernel support is implemented via dynamic modules whose addresses do not appear in the kernel's variable name list. In that case, lsof may have to guess at the identity of AFS files, and might not be able to obtain volume information from the kernel that is needed for calculating AFS volume node numbers. When lsof can't compute volume node numbers, it reports blank in the NODE column.
The -A A option is available in some dialect implementations of lsof for specifying the name list file where dynamic module kernel addresses may be found. When this option is available, it will be listed in the lsof help output, presented in response to the -h or -?
See the lsof FAQ (The FAQ section gives its location.) for more information about dynamic modules, their symbols, and how they affect lsof options.
Because AFS path lookups don't seem to participate in the kernel's name cache operations, lsof can't identify path name components for AFS files.
Lsof has three features that may cause security concerns. First, its default compilation mode allows anyone to list all open files with it. Second, by default it creates a user-readable and user-writable device cache file in the home directory of the real user ID that executes lsof . (The list-all-open-files and device cache features may be disabled when lsof is compiled.) Third, its -k and -m options name alternate kernel name list or memory files.
Restricting the listing of all open files is controlled by the compile-time HASSECURITY option. When HASSECURITY is defined, lsof will allow only the root user to list all open files. The non-root user may list only open files of processes with the same user IDentification number as the real user ID number of the lsof process (the one that its user logged on with). When HASSECURITY is not defined, anyone may list all open files.
Help output, presented in response to the -h or -? option, gives the HASSECURITY definition status.
See the Security section of the 0README file of the lsof distribution for information on building lsof with the HASSECURITY option enabled.
Creation and use of a user-readable and user-writable device cache file is controlled by the compile-time HASDCACHE option. See the DEVICE CACHE FILE section and the sections that follow it for details on how its path is formed. For security considerations it is important to note that in the default lsof distribution, if the real user ID under which lsof is executed is root, the device cache file will be written in root's home directory - e.g., / or /root . When HASDCACHE is not defined, lsof does not write or attempt to read a device cache file.
When HASDCACHE is defined, the lsof help output, presented in response to the -h , -D? , or -? options, will provide device cache file handling information. When HASDCACHE is not defined, the -h or -? output will have no -D option description.
Before you decide to disable the device cache file feature - enabling it improves the performance of lsof by reducing the startup overhead of examining all the nodes in /dev (or /devices ) - read the discussion of it in the 00DCACHE file of the lsof distribution and the lsof FAQ (The FAQ section gives its location.)
WHEN IN DOUBT, YOU CAN TEMPORARILY DISABLE THE USE OF THE DEVICE CACHE FILE WITH THE -Di OPTION.
When lsof user declares alternate kernel name list or memory files with the -k and -m options, lsof checks the user's authority to read them with access(2). This is intended to prevent whatever special power lsof's modes might confer on it from letting it read files not normally accessible via the authority of the real user ID.
This section describes the information lsof lists for each open file. See the OUTPUT FOR OTHER PROGRAMS section for additional information on output that can be processed by another program.
Lsof only outputs printable (declared so by isprint(3)) ASCII characters. Non-printable characters are printed in one of three forms: the C "\[bfrnt?" form; the control character `^' form (e.g., "^@"); or hexadecimal leading "\x" form (e.g., "\xab"). Space is non-printable in the COMMAND column ("\x20") and printable elsewhere.
Lsof dynamically sizes the output columns each time it runs, guaranteeing that each column is a minimum size. It also guarantees that each column is separated from its predecessor by at least one space.
- contains the first nine characters of the name of the UNIX command associated with the process.
- All command name characters maintained by the kernel in its structures are displayed in field output when the command name descriptor (`c') is specified. See the OUTPUT FOR OTHER COMMANDS section for information on selecting field output and the associated command name descriptor.
- is the Process IDentification number of the process.
- is the Parent Process IDentification number of the process. It is only displayed when the -R option has been specified.
- is the process group IDentification number associated with the process. It is only displayed when the -g option has been specified.
- is the user ID number or login name of the user to whom the process belongs, as reported by ps(1). (See the -l option description.)
- is the File Descriptor number of the file or:
cwd current working directory;
Lnn library references (AIX);
jld jail directory (FreeBSD);
ltx shared library text (code and data);
Mxx hex memory-mapped type number xx.
m86 DOS Merge mapped file;
mem memory-mapped file;
mmap memory-mapped device;
pd parent directory;
rtd root directory;
txt program text (code and data);
v86 VP/ix mapped file;
- FD is followed by one of these characters, describing the mode under which the file is open:
r for read access;
w for write access;
u for read and write access;
space if mode unknown and no lock
`-' if mode unknown and lock
- The mode character is followed by one of these lock characters, describing the type of lock applied to the file:
- N for a Solaris NFS lock of unknown type;
r for read lock on part of the file;
R for a read lock on the entire file;
w for a write lock on part of the file;
W for a write lock on the entire file;
u for a read and write lock of any length;
U for a lock of unknown type;
x for an SCO !OpenServer? Xenix lock on part of the file;
X for an SCO !OpenServer? Xenix lock on the entire file;
space if there is no lock.
- See the LOCKS section for more information on the lock information character.
- The FD column contents constitutes a single field for parsing in post-processing scripts.
- is the type of the node associated with the file - e.g., GDIR, GREG, VDIR, VREG, etc.
- or "IPv4" for an IP version 4 socket;
- or "IPv6" for an IP version 6 socket - even if its address is IPv4, mapped to IPv6;
- or "ax25" for a Linux AX.25 socket;
- or "inet" for an Internet domain socket;
- or "lla" for a HP-UX link level access file;
- or "rte" for an AF_ROUTE socket;
- or "sock" for a socket of unknown domain;
- or "unix" for a UNIX domain socket;
- or "x.25" for an HP-UX x.25 socket;
- or "BLK" for a block special file;
- or "CHR" for a character special file;
- or "DEL" for a Linux map file that has been deleted;
- or "DIR" for a directory;
- or "DOOR" for a VDOOR file;
- or "FIFO" for a FIFO special file;
- or "LINK" for a symbolic link file;
- or "MPB" for a multiplexed block file;
- or "MPC" for a multiplexed character file;
- or "PAS" for a /proc/as file;
- or "PAXV" for a /proc/auxv file;
- or "PCRE" for a /proc/cred file;
- or "PCTL" for a /proc control file;
- or "PCUR" for the current /proc process;
- or "PCWD" for a /proc current working directory;
- or "PDIR" for a /proc directory;
- or "PETY" for a /proc executable type (etype);
- or "PFD" for a /proc file descriptor;
- or "PFDR" for a /proc file descriptor directory;
- or "PFIL" for an executable /proc file;
- or "PFPR" for a /proc FP register set;
- or "PGD" for a /proc/pagedata file;
- or "PGID" for a /proc group notifier file;
- or "PIPE" for pipes;
- or "PLC" for a /proc/lwpctl file;
- or "PLDR" for a /proc/lpw directory;
- or "PLDT" for a /proc/ldt file;
- or "PLPI" for a /proc/lpsinfo file;
- or "PLST" for a /proc/lstatus file;
- or "PLU" for a /proc/lusage file;
- or "PLWG" for a /proc/gwindows file;
- or "PLWI" for a /proc/lwpsinfo file;
- or "PLWS" for a /proc/lwpstatus file;
- or "PLWU" for a /proc/lwpusage file;
- or "PLWX" for a /proc/xregs file'
- or "PMAP" for a /proc map file (map);
- or "PMEM" for a /proc memory image file;
- or "PNTF" for a /proc process notifier file;
- or "POBJ" for a /proc/object file;
- or "PODR" for a /proc/object directory;
- or "POLP" for an old format /proc light weight process file;
- or "POPF" for an old format /proc PID file;
- or "POPG" for an old format /proc page data file;
- or "PORT" for a SYSV named pipe;
- or "PREG" for a /proc register file;
- or "PRMP" for a /proc/rmap file;
- or "PRTD" for a /proc root directory;
- or "PSGA" for a /proc/sigact file;
- or "PSIN" for a /proc/psinfo file;
- or "PSTA" for a /proc status file;
- or "PUSG" for a /proc/usage file;
- or "PW" for a /proc/watch file;
- or "PXMP" for a /proc/xmap file;
- or "REG" for a regular file;
- or "SMT" for a shared memory transport file;
- or "STSO" for a stream socket;
- or "UNNM" for an unnamed type file.
- contains the kernel file structure address when f has been specified to +f ;
- contains the file reference count from the kernel file structure when c has been specified to +f ;
- when g or G has been specified to +f , this field contains the contents of the f_flag[s? member of the kernel file structure and the kernel's per-process open file flags (if available); `G' causes them to be displayed in hexadecimal; `g', as short-hand names; two lists may be displayed with entries separated by commas, the lists separated by a semicolon (`;'); the first list may contain short-hand names for f_flag[s? values from the following table:
AIO asynchronous I/O (e.g., FAIO)
ASYN asynchronous I/O (e.g., FASYNC)
BAS block, test, and set in use
BKIU block if in use
BL use block offsets
BSK block seek
CA copy avoid
CLRD CL read
DFI defer IND
DFLU data flush
DOCL do clone
DSYN data-only integrity
EX open for exec
EXCL exclusive open
FSYN synchronous writes
GCDF defer during unp_gc() (AIX)
GCMK mark during unp_gc() (AIX)
GTTY accessed via /dev/tty
HUP HUP in progress
KIOC kernel-issued ioctl
LCK has lock
LG large file
MBLK stream message block
MSYN multiplex synchronization
NB non-blocking I/O
NBDR no BDRM check
NBIO SYSV non-blocking I/O
NBF n-buffering in effect
NC no cache
ND no delay
NDSY no data synchronization
NMFS NM file system
NOTO disable background stop
NSH no share
NTTY no controlling TTY
OLRM OLR mirror
PAIO POSIX asynchronous I/O
PP POSIX pipe
RAIO Reliant UNIX RAIO request
RC file and record locking cache
RSH shared read
RSYN read synchronization
SL shared lock
SQSH Sequent shared set on open
SQSV Sequent SVM set on open
SQR Sequent set repair on open
SQS1 Sequent full shared open
SQS2 Sequent partial shared open
STPI stop I/O
SWR synchronous read
SYN file integrity while writing
TCPM avoid TCP collision
WKUP parallel I/O synchronization
WTG parallel I/O synchronization
VH vhangup pending
VTXT virtual text
XL exclusive lock
- this list of names was derived from F* #define's in dialect header files <fcntl.h>, <linux</fs.h>, sys/fcntl.c>, <sys/fcntlcom.h>, and <sys/file.h>; see the lsof.h header file for a list showing the correspondence between the above short-hand names and the header file definitions;
- the second list (after the semicolon) may contain short-hand names for kernel per-process open file flags from this table:
BR the file has been read
BHUP activity stopped by SIGHUP
BW the file has been written
CX close-on-exec (see fcntl(F_SETFD))
LCK lock was applied
RSVW reserved wait
SHMT UF_FSHMAT set (AIX)
USE in use (multi-threaded)
- (or INODE-ADDR for some dialects) contains a unique identifier for the file node (usually the kernel vnode or inode address, but also occasionally a concatenation of device and node number) when n has been specified to +f ;
- contains the device numbers, separated by commas, for a character special, block special, regular, directory or NFS file;
- or "memory" for a memory file system node under DEC OSF/1, Digital UNIX, or Tru64 UNIX;
- or the address of the private data area of a Solaris socket stream;
- or a kernel reference address that identifies the file (The kernel reference address may be used for FIFO's, for example.);
- or the base address or device name of a Linux AX.25 socket device.
- Usually only the lower thirty two bits of DEC OSF/1, Digital UNIX, or Tru64 UNIX kernel addresses are displayed.
- SIZE, SIZE/OFF, or OFFSET
- is the size of the file or the file offset in bytes. A value is displayed in this column only if it is available. Lsof displays whatever value - size or offset - is appropriate for the type of the file and the version of lsof .
- On some UNIX dialects lsof can't obtain accurate or consistent file offset information from its kernel data sources, sometimes just for particular kinds of files (e.g., socket files.) In other cases, files don't have true sizes - e.g., sockets, FIFOs, pipes - so lsof displays for their sizes the content amounts it finds in their kernel buffer descriptors (e.g., socket buffer size counts or TCP/IP window sizes.) Consult the lsof FAQ (The FAQ section gives its location.) for more information.
- The file size is displayed in decimal; the offset is normally displayed in decimal with a leading "0t" if it contains 8 digits or less; in hexadecimal with a leading "0x" if it is longer than 8 digits. (Consult the -o o option description for information on when 8 might default to some other value.)
- Thus the leading "0t" and "0x" identify an offset when the column may contain both a size and an offset (i.e., its title is SIZE/OFF).
- If the -o option is specified, lsof always displays the file offset (or nothing if no offset is available) and labels the column OFFSET. The offset always begins with "0t" or "0x" as described above.
- The lsof user can control the switch from "0t" to "0x" with the -o o option. Consult its description for more information.
- If the -s option is specified, lsof always displays the file size (or nothing if no size is available) and labels the column SIZE. The -o and -s options are mutually exclusive; they can't both be specified.
- For files that don't have a fixed size - e.g., don't reside on a disk device - lsof will display appropriate information about the current size or position of the file if it is available in the kernel structures that define the file.
- is the node number of a local file;
- or the inode number of an NFS file in the server host;
- or the Internet protocol type - e. g, "TCP";
- or "STR" for a stream;
- or "CCITT" for an HP-UX x.25 socket;
- or the IRQ or inode number of a Linux AX.25 socket device.
- is the name of the mount point and file system on which the file resides;
- or the name of a file specified in the names option (after any symbolic links have been resolved);
- or the name of a character special or block special device;
- or the local and remote Internet addresses of a network file; the local host name or IP number is followed by a colon (':'), the port, "->", and the two-part remote address; IP addresses may be reported as numbers or names, depending on the +|-M , -n , and -P options; colon-separated IPv6 numbers are enclosed in square brackets; IPv4 INADDR_ANY and IPv6 IN6_IS_ADDR_UNSPECIFIED addresses are represented by an asterisk ('*'); a UDP destination address may be followed by the amount of time elapsed since the last packet was sent to the destination; TCP and UDP remote addresses may be followed by TCP/TPI information in parentheses - state (e.g., "(ESTABLISHED)", "(Unbound)"), queue sizes, and window sizes (not all dialects) - in a fashion similar to what netstat(1) reports; see the -T option description or the description of the TCP/TPI field in OUTPUT FOR OTHER PROGRAMS for more information on state, queue size, and window size;
- or the address or name of a UNIX domain socket, possibly including a stream clone device name, a file system object's path name, local and foreign kernel addresses, socket pair information, and a bound vnode address;
- or the local and remote mount point names of an NFS file;
- or "STR", followed by the stream name;
- or a stream character device name, followed by "->" and the stream name;
- or "STR:" followed by the SCO !OpenServer? stream device and module names, separated by "->";
- or system directory name, " -- ", and as many components of the path name as lsof can find in the kernel's name cache for selected dialects (See the KERNEL NAME CACHE section for more information.);
- or "PIPE->", followed by a Solaris kernel pipe destination address;
- or "COMMON:", followed by the vnode device information structure's device name, for a Solaris common vnode;
- or the address family, followed by a slash (`/'), followed by fourteen comma-separated bytes of a non-Internet raw socket address;
- or the HP-UX x.25 local address, followed by the virtual connection number (if any), followed by the remote address (if any);
- or "(dead)" for disassociated DEC OSF/1, Digital UNIX, or Tru64 UNIX files - typically terminal files that have been flagged with the TIOCNOTTY ioctl and closed by daemons;
- or "rd=<offset>" and "wr=<offset>" for the values of the read and write offsets of a FIFO;
- or "clone n:/dev/event" for SCO !OpenServer? file clones of the /dev/event device, where n is the minor device number of the file;
- or "(socketpair: n)" for a Solaris 2.6, 7, 8 BETA, or 8 BETA-Refresh UNIX domain socket, created by the socketpair(3N) network function;
- or "no PCB" for socket files that do not have a protocol block associated with them, optionally followed by ", CANTSENDMORE" if sending on the socket has been disabled, or ", CANTRCVMORE" if receiving on the socket has been disabled (e.g., by the shutdown(2) function);
- or the local and remote addresses of a Linux IPX socket file in the form <net>:?<port>, followed in parentheses by the transmit and receive queue sizes, and the connection state;
- or "dgram" or "stream" for the type !UnixWare? 7.1.1 and above in-kernel UNIX domain sockets, followed by a colon (':') and the local path name when available, followed by "->" and the remote path name or kernel socket address in hexadecimal when available.
For dialects that support a "namefs" file system, allowing one file to be attached to another with fattach(3C), lsof will add "(FA:<address1><direction><address2>)" to the NAME column. <address1> and <address2> are hexadecimal vnode addresses. <direction> will be "<-" if <address2> has been fattach'ed to this vnode whose address is <address1>; and "->" if <address1>, the vnode address of this vnode, has been fattach'ed to <address2>. <address1> may be omitted if it already appears in the DEVICE column.
Lsof can't adequately report the wide variety of UNIX dialect file locks in a single character. What it reports in a single character is a compromise between the information it finds in the kernel and the limitations of the reporting format.
Moreover, when a process holds several byte level locks on a file, lsof only reports the status of the first lock it encounters. If it is a byte level lock, then the lock character will be reported in lower case - i.e., `r', `w', or `x' - rather than the upper case equivalent reported for a full file lock.
Generally lsof can only report on locks held by local processes on local files. When a local process sets a lock on a remotely mounted (e.g., NFS) file, the remote server host usually records the lock state. One exception is Solaris - at some patch levels of 2.3, and in all versions above 2.4, the Solaris kernel records information on remote locks in local structures.
Lsof has trouble reporting locks for some UNIX dialects. Consult the BUGS section of this manual page or the lsof FAQ (The FAQ section gives its location.) for more information.
OUTPUT FOR OTHER PROGRAMS
When the -F option is specified, lsof produces output that is suitable for processing by another program - e.g, an awk or Perl script.
Each unit of information is output in a field that is identified with a leading character and terminated by a NL (012) (or a NUL (000) if the 0 (zero) field identifier character is specified.) The data of the field follows immediately after the field identification character and extends to the field terminator.
It is possible to think of field output as process and file sets. A process set begins with a field whose identifier is `p' (for process IDentifier (PID)). It extends to the beginning of the next PID field or the beginning of the first file set of the process, whichever comes first. Included in the process set are fields that identify the command, the process group IDentification (PGID) number, and the user ID (UID) number or login name.
A file set begins with a field whose identifier is `f' (for file descriptor). It is followed by lines that describe the file's access mode, lock state, type, device, size, offset, inode, protocol, name and stream module names. It extends to the beginning of the next file or process set, whichever comes first.
When the NUL (000) field terminator has been selected with the 0 (zero) field identifier character, lsof ends each process and file set with a NL (012) character.
Lsof always produces one field, the PID (`p') field. All other fields may be declared optionally in the field identifier character list that follows the -F option. When a field selection character identifies an item lsof does not normally list - e.g., PPID, selected with -R - specification of the field character - e.g., "-FR" - also selects the listing of the item.
It is entirely possible to select a set of fields that cannot easily be parsed - e.g., if the field descriptor field is not selected, it may be difficult to identify file sets. To help you avoid this difficulty, lsof supports the -F option; it selects the output of all fields with NL terminators (the -F0 option pair selects the output of all fields with NUL terminators).
These are the fields that lsof will produce. The single character listed first is the field identifier.
a file access mode
c process command name (all characters from proc or
C file structure share count
d file's device character code
D file's major/minor device number (0x<hexadecimal>)
f file descriptor
F file structure address (0x<hexadecimal>)
G file flaGs (0x<hexadecimal>; names if +fg follows)
i file's inode number
l file's lock status
L process login name
m marker between repeated output
n file name, comment, Internet address
N node identifier (ox<hexadecimal>
p process ID (always selected)
g process group ID
P protocol name
R parent process ID
s file's size (decimal)
S file's stream identification
t file's type
T TCP/TPI information, identified by prefixes (the
`=' is part of the prefix):
QR=<read queue size>
QS=<write queue size>
WR=<window read size> (not all dialects)
WW=<window write size> (not all dialects)
(TPI state information and window sizes aren't
reported for all supported UNIX dialects. The
-h or -? help output for the -T option will
show whether window size reporting can be
u process user ID
0 use NUL field terminator character in place of NL
1-\9 dialect-specific field identifiers (The output
of -F? identifies the information to be found
in dialect-specific fields.)
You can get on-line help information on these characters and their descriptions by specifying the -F? option pair. (Escape the `?' character as your shell requires.) Additional information on field content can be found in the OUTPUT section.
As an example, "-F pcfn" will select the process ID (`p'), command name (`c'), file descriptor (`f') and file name (`n') fields with an NL field terminator character; "-F pcfn0" selects the same output with a NUL (000) field terminator character.
Lsof doesn't produce all fields for every process or file set, only those that are available. Some fields are mutually exclusive: file device characters and file major/minor device numbers; file inode number and protocol name; file name and stream identification; file size and offset. One or the other member of these mutually exclusive sets will appear in field output, but not both.
Normally lsof ends each field with a NL (012) character. The 0 (zero) field identifier character may be specified to change the field terminator character to a NUL (000). A NUL terminator may be easier to process with xargs (1), for example, or with programs whose quoting mechanisms may not easily cope with the range of characters in the field output. When the NUL field terminator is in use, lsof ends each process and file set with a NL (012).
Two aids to producing programs that can process lsof field output are included in the lsof distribution. The first is a C header file, lsof_fields.h , that contains symbols for the field identification characters, indexes for storing them in a table, and explanation strings that may be compiled into programs. Lsof uses this header file.
The second aid is a set of sample scripts that process field output, written in awk , Perl 4, and Perl 5. They're located in the scripts subdirectory of the lsof distribution.
BLOCKS AND TIMEOUTS
Lsof can be blocked by some kernel functions that it uses - lstat(2), readlink(2), and stat(2). These functions are stalled in the kernel, for example, when the hosts where mounted NFS file systems reside become inaccessible.
Lsof attempts to break these blocks with timers and child processes, but the techniques are not wholly reliable. When lsof does manage to break a block, it will report the break with an error message. The messages may be suppressed with the -t and -w options.
The default timeout value may be displayed with the -h or -? option, and it may be changed with the -S [t? option. The minimum for t is two seconds, but you should avoid small values, since slow system responsiveness can cause short timeouts to expire unexpectedly and perhaps stop lsof before it can produce any output.
When lsof has to break a block during its access of mounted file system information, it normally continues, although with less information available to display about open files.
Lsof can also be directed to avoid the protection of timers and child processes when using the kernel functions that might block by specifying the -O option. While this will allow lsof to start up with less overhead, it exposes lsof completely to the kernel situations that might block it. Use this option cautiously.
AVOIDING KERNEL BLOCKS
You can use the -b option to tell lsof to avoid using kernel functions that would block. Some cautions apply.
First, using this option usually requires that your system supply alternate device numbers in place of the device numbers that lsof would normally obtain with the lstat(2) and stat(2) kernel functions. See the ALTERNATE DEVICE NUMBERS section for more information on alternate device numbers.
Second, you can't specify names for lsof to locate unless they're file system names. This is because lsof needs to know the device and inode numbers of files listed with names in the lsof options, and the -b option prevents lsof from obtaining them. Moreover, since lsof only has device numbers for the file systems that have alternates, its ability to locate files on file systems depends completely on the availability and accuracy of the alternates. If no alternates are available, or if they're incorrect, lsof won't be able to locate files on the named file systems.
Third, if the names of your file system directories that lsof obtains from your system's mount table are symbolic links, lsof won't be able to resolve the links. This is because the -b option causes lsof to avoid the kernel readlink(2) function it uses to resolve symbolic links.
Finally, using the -b option causes lsof to issue warning messages when it needs to use the kernel functions that the -b option directs it to avoid. You can suppress these messages by specifying the -w option, but if you do, you won't see the alternate device numbers reported in the warning messages.
ALTERNATE DEVICE NUMBERS
On some dialects, when lsof has to break a block because it can't get information about a mounted file system via the lstat(2) and stat(2) kernel functions, or because you specified the -b option, lsof can obtain some of the information it needs - the device number and possibly the file system type - from the system mount table. When that is possible, lsof will report the device number it obtained. (You can suppress the report by specifying the -w option.)
You can assist this process if your mount table is supported with an /etc/mtab or /etc/mnttab file that contains an options field by adding a "dev=xxxx" field for mount points that do not have one in their options strings.
- The "xxxx" portion of the field is the hexadecimal value of the file system's device number. (Consult the st_dev field of the output of the lstat(2) and stat(2) functions for the appropriate values for your file systems.) Here's an example from a Sun Solaris 2.6 /etc/mnttab for a file system remotely mounted via NFS
There's an advantage to having "dev=xxxx" entries in your mount table file, especially for file systems that are mounted from remote NFS servers. When a remote server crashes and you want to identify its users by running lsof on one of its clients, lsof probably won't be able to get output from the lstat(2) and stat(2) functions for the file system. If it can obtain the file system's device number from the mount table, it will be able to display the files open on the crashed NFS server.
Some dialects that do not use an ASCII /etc/mtab or /etc/mnttab file for the mount table may still provide an alternative device number in their internal mount tables. This includes AIX, Apple Darwin, DEC OSF/1, Digital UNIX, FreeBSD, NetBSD, OpenBSD, and Tru64 UNIX. Lsof knows how to obtain the alternative device number for these dialects and uses it when its attempt to lstat(2) or stat(2) the file system is blocked.
If you're not sure your dialect supplies alternate device numbers for file systems from its mount table, use this lsof incantation to see if it reports any alternate device numbers:
- lsof -b
Look for standard error file warning messages that begin "assuming "dev=xxxx" from ...".
KERNEL NAME CACHE
Lsof is able to examine the kernel's name cache or use other kernel facilities (e.g., the ADVFS 4.x tag_to_path() function under Digital UNIX or Tru64 UNIX) on some dialects for most file system types, excluding AFS, and extract recently used path name components from it. (AFS file system path lookups don't use the kernel's name cache.)
Lsof reports the complete paths it finds in the NAME column. If lsof can't report all components in a path, it reports in the NAME column the file system name, followed by a space, two `-' characters, another space, and the name components it has located, separated by the `/' character.
When lsof is run in repeat mode - i.e., with the -r option specified - the extent to which it can report path name components for the same file may vary from cycle to cycle. That's because other running processes can cause the kernel to remove entries from its name cache and replace them with others.
Lsof's use of the kernel name cache to identify the paths of files can lead it to report incorrect components under some circumstances. This can happen when the kernel name cache uses device and node number as a key (e.g., Linux and SCO !OpenServer?) and a key on a rapidly changing file system is reused. If the UNIX dialect's kernel doesn't purge the name cache entry for a file when it is unlinked, lsof may find a reference to the wrong entry in the cache. The lsof FAQ (The FAQ section gives its location.) has more information on this situation.
- Lsof can report path name components for these dialects
DEC OSF/1, Digital UNIX, Tru64 UNIX
Ultrix (no longer available)
- Lsof can't report path name components for these dialects
If you want to know why lsof can't report path name components for some dialects, see the lsof FAQ (The FAQ section gives its location.)
DEVICE CACHE FILE
Examining all members of the /dev (or /devices ) node tree with stat(2) functions can be time consuming. What's more, the information that lsof needs - device number, inode number, and path - rarely changes.
- Consequently, lsof normally maintains an ASCII text file of cached /dev (or /devices ) information (exception: the /proc-based Linux lsof where it's not needed.) The local system administrator who builds lsof can control the way the device cache file path is formed, selecting from these options
Path from the -D option;
Path from an environment variable;
Personal path (the default);
Personal path, modified by an environment variable.
Consult the output of the -h , -D? , or -? help options for the current state of device cache support. The help output lists the default read-mode device cache file path that is in effect for the current invocation of lsof . The -D? option output lists the read-only and write device cache file paths, the names of any applicable environment variables, and the personal device cache path format.
Lsof can detect that the current device cache file has been accidentally or maliciously modified by integrity checks, including the computation and verification of a sixteen bit Cyclic Redundancy Check (CRC) sum on the file's contents. When lsof senses something wrong with the file, it issues a warning and attempts to remove the current cache file and create a new copy, but only to a path that the process can legitimately write.
The path from which a lsof process may attempt to read a device cache file may not be the same as the path to which it can legitimately write. Thus when lsof senses that it needs to update the device cache file, it may choose a different path for writing it from the path from which it read an incorrect or outdated version.
If available, the -Dr option will inhibit the writing of a new device cache file. (It's always available when specified without a path name argument.)
When a new device is added to the system, the device cache file may need to be recreated. Since lsof compares the mtime of the device cache file with the mtime and ctime of the /dev (or /devices ) directory, it usually detects that a new device has been added; in that case lsof issues a warning message and attempts to rebuild the device cache file.
Whenever lsof writes a device cache file, it sets its ownership to the real UID of the executing process, and its permission modes to 0600, this restricting its reading and writing to the file's owner.
LSOF PERMISSIONS THAT AFFECT DEVICE CACHE FILE ACCESS
Two permissions of the lsof executable affect its ability to access device cache files. The permissions are set by the local system administrator when lsof is installed.
The first and rarer permission is setuid-root. It comes into effect when lsof is executed; its effective UID is then root, while its real (i.e., that of the logged-on user) UID is not. The lsof distribution recommends that versions for these dialects run setuid-root.
DC/OSx 1.1 for Pyramid systems
Reliant UNIX 5.4[34? for Pyramid systems
The second and more common permission is setgid. It comes into effect when the effective group IDentification number (GID) of the lsof process is set to one that can access kernel memory devices - e.g., "kmem", "sys", or "system".
An lsof process that has setgid permission usually surrenders the permission after it has accessed the kernel memory devices. When it does that, lsof can allow more liberal device cache path formations. The lsof distribution recommends that versions for these dialects run setgid and be allowed to surrender setgid permission.
AIX 4.3.[23?, 5L, and 5.1
Apple Darwin 1.[23? for Power Macintosh systems
BSDI BSD/OS 4.1 for Intel-based systems
DEC OSF/1, Digital UNIX, Tru64 UNIX 4.0, and 5.[01?
FreeBSD 4.[23? and 5.0 for Intel-based systems
NetBSD 1.5 for Alpha, Intel, and SPARC-based systems
NEXTSTEP 3.[13? for NEXTSTEP architectures
OpenBSD 2.[89? for Intel-based systems
SCO !OpenServer? Release 5.0.[45? for Intel-based systems
SCO !UnixWare? 7.1.1 for Intel-based systems
Sequent PTX 4.4.[46?, 4.5[.1?, and 4.6[.1?
Solaris 2.6, 7, 8, and 9 BETA
(Note: lsof for AIX 5L and above needs setuid-root permission if its -X option is used.)
Lsof for these dialects does not support a device cache, so the permissions given to the executable don't apply to the device cache file.
Linux 2.1.72 and above (/proc-based lsof)
DEVICE CACHE FILE PATH FROM THE -D OPTION
The -D option provides limited means for specifying the device cache file path. Its ? function will report the read-only and write device cache file paths that lsof will use.
When the -D b , r , and u functions are available, you can use them to request that the cache file be built in a specific location (b[''path''?); read but not rebuilt (r[''path''?); or read and rebuilt (u[''path''?). The b , r , and u functions are restricted under some conditions. They are restricted when the lsof process is setuid-root. The path specified with the r function is always read-only, even when it is available.
The b , r , and u functions are also restricted when the lsof process runs setgid and lsof doesn't surrender the setgid permission. (See the LSOF PERMISSIONS THAT AFFECT DEVICE CACHE FILE ACCESS section for a list of implementations that normally don't surrender their setgid permission.)
A further -D function, i (for ignore), is always available.
When available, the b function tells lsof to read device information from the kernel with the stat(2) function and build a device cache file at the indicated path.
When available, the r function tells lsof to read the device cache file, but not update it. When a path argument accompanies -Dr , it names the device cache file path. The r function is always available when it is specified without a path name argument. If lsof is not running setuid-root and surrenders its setgid permission, a path name argument may accompany the r function.
When available, the u function tells lsof to attempt to read and use the device cache file. If it can't read the file, or if it finds the contents of the file incorrect or outdated, it will read information from the kernel, and attempt to write an updated version of the device cache file, but only to a path it considers legitimate for the lsof process effective and real UIDs.
DEVICE CACHE PATH FROM AN ENVIRONMENT VARIABLE
Lsof's second choice for the device cache file is the contents of the LSOFDEVCACHE environment variable. It avoids this choice if the lsof process is setuid-root, or the real UID of the process is root.
A further restriction applies to a device cache file path taken from the LSOFDEVCACHE environment variable: lsof will not write a device cache file to the path if the lsof process doesn't surrender its setgid permission. (See the LSOF PERMISSIONS THAT AFFECT DEVICE CACHE FILE ACCESS section for information on implementations that don't surrender their setgid permission.)
The local system administrator can disable the use of the LSOFDEVCACHE environment variable or change its name when building lsof . Consult the output of -D? for the environment variable's name.
SYSTEM-WIDE DEVICE CACHE PATH
The local system administrator may choose to have a system-wide device cache file when building lsof . That file will generally be constructed by a special system administration procedure when the system is booted or when the contents of /dev or /devices ) changes. If defined, it is lsof's third device cache file path choice.
You can tell that a system-wide device cache file is in effect for your local installation by examining the lsof help option output - i.e., the output from the -h or -? option.
Lsof will never write to the system-wide device cache file path by default. It must be explicitly named with a -D function in a root-owned procedure. Once the file has been written, the procedure must change its permission modes to 0644 (owner-read and owner-write, group-read, and other-read).
PERSONAL DEVICE CACHE PATH (DEFAULT)
The default device cache file path of the lsof distribution is one recorded in the home directory of the real UID that executes lsof . Added to the home directory is a second path component of the form .lsof_hostname .
This is lsof's fourth device cache file path choice, and is usually the default. If a system-wide device cache file path was defined when lsof was built, this fourth choice will be applied when lsof can't find the system-wide device cache file. This is the only time lsof uses two paths when reading the device cache file.
The hostname part of the second component is the base name of the executing host, as returned by gethostname(2). The base name is defined to be the characters preceding the first `.' in the gethostname(2) output, or all the gethostname(2) output if it contains no `.'.
The device cache file belongs to the user ID and is readable and writable by the user ID alone - i.e., its modes are 0600. Each distinct real user ID on a given host that executes lsof has a distinct device cache file. The hostname part of the path distinguishes device cache files in an NFS-mounted home directory into which device cache files are written from several different hosts.
The personal device cache file path formed by this method represents a device cache file that lsof will attempt to read, and will attempt to write should it not exist or should its contents be incorrect or outdated.
The -Dr option without a path name argument will inhibit the writing of a new device cache file.
The -D? option will list the format specification for constructing the personal device cache file. The conversions used in the format specification are described in the 00DCACHE file of the lsof distribution.
MODIFIED PERSONAL DEVICE CACHE PATH
If this option is defined by the local system administrator when lsof is built, the LSOFPERSDCPATH environment variable contents may be used to add a component of the personal device cache file path.
The LSOFPERSDCPATH variable contents are inserted in the path at the place marked by the local system administrator with the "%p" conversion in the HASPERSDC format specification of the dialect's machine.h header file. (It's placed right after the home directory in the default lsof distribution.)
- Thus, for example, if LSOFPERSDCPATH contains "LSOF", the home directory is "/Homes/abe", the host name is "vic.cc.purdue.edu", and the HASPERSDC format is the default ("%h/%p.lsof_%L"), the modified personal device cache file path is
The LSOFPERSDCPATH environment variable is ignored when the lsof process is setuid-root or when the real UID of the process is root.
Lsof will not write to a modified personal device cache file path if the lsof process doesn't surrender setgid permission. (See the LSOF PERMISSIONS THAT AFFECT DEVICE CACHE FILE ACCESS section for a list of implementations that normally don't surrender their setgid permission.)
If, for example, you want to create a sub-directory of personal device cache file paths by using the LSOFPERSDCPATH environment variable to name it, and lsof doesn't surrender its setgid permission, you will have to allow lsof to create device cache files at the standard personal path and move them to your subdirectory with shell commands.
The local system administrator may: disable this option when lsof is built; change the name of the environment variable from LSOFPERSDCPATH to something else; change the HASPERSDC format to include the personal path component in another place; or exclude the personal path component entirely. Consult the output of the -D? option for the environment variable's name and the HASPERSDC format specification.
Errors are identified with messages on the standard error file.
Lsof returns a one (1) if any error was detected, including the failure to locate command names, file names, Internet addresses or files, login names, NFS files, PIDs, PGIDs, or UIDs it was asked to list. If the -V option is specified, lsof will indicate the search items it failed to list.
It returns a zero (0) if no errors were detected and if it was able to list some information about all the specified search arguments.
- When lsof cannot open access to /dev (or /devices ) or one of its subdirectories, or get information on a file in them with stat(2), it issues a warning message and continues. That lsof will issue warning messages about inaccessible files in /dev (or /devices ) is indicated in its help output - requested with the -h or >B -? options - with the message
Inaccessible /dev warnings are enabled.
- The warning message may be suppressed with the -w option. It may also have been suppressed by the system administrator when lsof was compiled by the setting of the WARNDEVACCESS definition. In this case, the output from the help options will include the message
Inaccessible /dev warnings are disabled.
Inaccessible device warning messages usually disappear after lsof has created a working device cache file.
For a more extensive set of examples, documented more fully, see the 00QUICKSTART file of the lsof distribution.
To list all open files, use:
To list all open Internet, x.25 (HP-UX), and UNIX domain files, use:
- lsof -i -U
To list all files using any protocol on ports 513, 514, or 515 of host wonderland.cc.purdue.edu, use:
- lsof -i @wonderland.cc.purdue.edu:513-515
To list all files using any protocol on any port of mace.cc.purdue.edu (cc.purdue.edu is the default domain), use:
- lsof -i @mace
To list all open files for login name "abe", or user ID 1234, or process 456, or process 123, or process 789, use:
- lsof -p 456,123,789 -u 1234,abe
To list all open files on device /dev/hd4, use:
- lsof /dev/hd4
To find the process that has /u/abe/foo open, use:
- lsof /u/abe/foo
To send a SIGHUP to the processes that have /u/abe/bar open, use:
- kill -HUP `lsof -t /u/abe/bar`
To find any open file, including an open UNIX domain socket file, with the name /dev/log , use:
- lsof /dev/log
To find processes with open files on the NFS file system named /nfs/mount/point whose server is inaccessible, and presuming your mount table supplies the device number for /nfs/mount/point , use:
- lsof -b /nfs/mount/point
To do the preceding search with warning messages suppressed, use:
- lsof -bw /nfs/mount/point
To ignore the device cache file, use:
- lsof -Di
To obtain PID and command name field output for each process, file descriptor, file device number, and file inode number for each file of each process, use:
- lsof -!FpcfDi?
To list the files at descriptors 1 and 3 of every process running the lsof command for login ID "abe" every 10 seconds, use:
- lsof -c lsof -a -d 1 -d 3 -u abe -r10
To list the current working directory of processes running a command that is exactly four characters long and has an 'o' or 'O' in character three, use this regular expression form of the -c c option:
- lsof -c /^..o.$/i -a -d cwd
To find an IP version 4 socket file by its associated numeric dot-form address, use:
- lsof -email@example.com
To find an IP version 6 socket file (when the UNIX dialect supports IPv6) by its associated numeric colon-form address, use:
- lsof -i@1:2:3:4:5:6:7?
To find an IP version 6 socket file (when the UNIX dialect supports IPv6) by an associated numeric colon-form address that has a run of zeroes in it - e.g., the loop-back address - use:
- lsof -i@:1?
Since lsof reads kernel memory in its search for open files, rapid changes in kernel memory may produce unpredictable results.
When a file has multiple record locks, the lock status character (following the file descriptor) is derived from a test of the first lock structure, not from any combination of the individual record locks that might be described by multiple lock structures.
Lsof can't search for files with restrictive access permissions by name unless it is installed with root set-UID permission. Otherwise it is limited to searching for files to which its user or its set-GID group (if any) has access permission.
The display of the destination address of a raw socket (e.g., for ping ) depends on the UNIX operating system. Some dialects store the destination address in the raw socket's protocol control block, some do not.
Lsof can't always represent Solaris device numbers in the same way that ls(1) does. For example, the major and minor device numbers that the lstat(2) and stat(2) functions report for the directory on which CD-ROM files are mounted (typically /cdrom ) are not the same as the ones that it reports for the device on which CD-ROM files are mounted (typically /dev/sr0 ). (Lsof reports the directory numbers.)
The support for /proc file systems is available only for BSD, DEC OSF/1, Digital UNIX, and Tru64 UNIX dialects, Linux, and dialects derived from SYSV R4 - e.g., FreeBSD, NetBSD, OpenBSD, Solaris, !UnixWare?.
Some /proc file items - device number, inode number, and file size - are unavailable in some dialects. Searching for files in a /proc file system may require that the full path name be specified.
No text (txt) file descriptors are displayed for Linux processes. All entries for files other than the current working directory, the root directory, and numerical file descriptors are labeled mem descriptors.
Lsof can't search for DEC OSF/1, Digital UNIX, and Tru64 UNIX named pipes by name, because their kernel implementation of lstat(2) returns an improper device number for a named pipe.
Lsof can't report fully or correctly on HP-UX 9.01, 10.20, and 11.00 locks because of insufficient access to kernel data or errors in the kernel data. See the lsof FAQ (The FAQ section gives its location.) for details.
The AIX SMT file type is a fabrication. It's made up for file structures whose type (15) isn't defined in the AIX /usr/include/sys/file.h header file. One way to create such file structures is to run X clients with the DISPLAY variable set to ":0.0".
The +|-f [cfgGn? option is not supported under /proc-based Linux lsof , because it doesn't read kernel structures from kernel memory.
Lsof may access these environment variables.
- defines the path to a device cache file. See the DEVICE CACHE PATH FROM AN ENVIRONMENT VARIABLE section for more information.
- defines the middle component of a modified personal device cache file path. See the MODIFIED PERSONAL DEVICE CACHE PATH section for more information.
Frequently-asked questions and their answers (an FAQ) are available in the 00FAQ file of the lsof distribution.
That file is also available via anonymous ftp from vic.cc.purdue.edu at pub/tools/unix/lsof FAQ . The URL is:
- kernel virtual memory device
- physical memory device
- system paging device
- lsof's device cache file (The suffix, hostname , is the first component of the host's name returned by gethostname(2) .)
Lsof was written by Victor A. Abell <firstname.lastname@example.org> of the Purdue University Computing Center (PUCC). Many others have contributed to lsof . They're listed in the 00CREDITS file of the lsof distribution.
The latest distribution of lsof is available via anonymous ftp from the host vic.cc.purdue.edu . You'll find the lsof distribution in the pub/tools/unix/lsof directory.
You can also use this URL:
Lsof is also mirrored elsewhere. When you access vic.cc.purdue.edu and change to its pub/tools/unix/lsof directory, you'll be given a list of some mirror sites. The pub/tools/unix/lsof directory also contains a more complete list in its mirrors file. Use mirrors with caution - not all mirrors always have the latest lsof revision.
Some pre-compiled Lsof executables are available on vic.cc.purdue.edu , but their use is discouraged - it's better that you build your own from the sources. If you feel you must use a pre-compiled executable, please read the cautions that appear in the README files of the pub/tools/unix/lsof/binaries subdirectories and in the 00* files of the distribution.
More information on the lsof distribution can be found in its README.lsof_<version> file. If you intend to get the lsof distribution and build it, please read README.lsof_<version> and the other 00* files of the distribution before sending questions to the author.
Lsof versions 2 and 3 have been tested under older UNIX dialects. They are available via anonymous ftp from vic.cc.purdue.edu in the pub/tools/unix/lsof/OLD directory.
access(2), awk(1), crash(1)?, fattach(3C), ff(1)?, fstat(8)?, fuser(1), gethostname(2), isprint(3), kill(1), lstat(2), modload(8)?, mount(8), netstat(1), ofiles(8L), perl(1), ps(1), readlink(2), stat(2), uname(1).