Stale NFS file handle

This article was first written in December 2005 for the BeezNest technical
website (
If you get this message [1] on a NFS client while trying to access a file or directory on a NFS server, chances are you can fix it by killing the processes that try to access it. Chances are that you don't know which processes may be involved. That's where intelligent system tool come handy.
fuser -km /directoryX/directoy_or_fileY
will kill all the processes accessing the file or directory.
[1] Stale NFS file handle