HPE ProLiant Gen8 G1610T

Linux: Kill stuck NFS process (kill -9 doesn’t work)

Posted by

Apparently kill -9 always works… except when it doesn’t. It also so seems that 99% of the time, when it doesn’t work, this is because the process is trying to access an NFS mount. This is handled in the Linux kernel and (unless you mount NFS with the soft option) it will retry forever.

If you can reboot your Linux machine, just do that. It’ s easier. If not, you can trick the process into timing out. To do that, you need to add the IP of the NFS mount locally and temporarily run an NFS server. If your NFS server is at IP, you would do:

ifconfig eth0:nfstmp netmask
apt-get install nfs-kernel-server

Now wait a moment and your stuck process should exit. Now you can clean up:

ifconfig eth0:nfstmp down
apt-get --purge remove nfs-kernel-server


  1. Easier would be to kill the active NFS session using tcpkill. This will send RST packets to the server forcing the connection to be re-established.

    # tcpkill -i eth0 port 2049

    This will make the NFS connection to be restarted in a matter of seconds. It’s a good way to make the kernel react if it gets stuck somehow.
    We have seen this a few times, tcpkill works best.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *