Occasionally, I get file (typically after they are edited by Microsoft Word) that I can not delete:

> rm -rf foo.docx
rm: M_AI_SO.docx: Resource busy

However, lsof doesn't report anything, even I run it as root:

> lsof | grep docx

How can I determine who is locking the file. And even more important: how can I delete it without a reboot?

1 Answer 1


lsof does not show all the processes when run as a normal user. Try with

sudo lsof | grep docx

See the SECURITY section of the man page

  • Sorry, I forgot to say, but I did so. I'll edit the question.
    – Matthias
    May 28, 2014 at 18:49

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