funlockfile - Linux


funlockfile is a command-line tool designed to release file locks held by other processes, enabling access to those files for modification or deletion. It is commonly used during development, troubleshooting, or when managing files that may have become locked inadvertently.


funlockfile [options] <file>...


  • -f, --force
    Forcefully unlocks the file without confirmation. This option is useful when a file is locked by a defunct process and cannot be released through standard methods.
  • -i, --interactive
    Prompts for confirmation before attempting to unlock files. Default behavior.
  • -v, --verbose
    Prints additional information during the unlock process, including the name of the process holding the lock and the type of lock being released.
  • -V, --version
    Displays the version of funlockfile and exits.
  • -h, --help
    Displays basic help information and exits.


  1. Unlock a single file:
funlockfile myfile.txt
  1. Forcefully unlock a file without confirmation:
funlockfile -f locked_file.dat
  1. Print verbose information while unlocking:
funlockfile -v file1.txt file2.txt

Common Issues

  • Permission Denied: Ensure you have sufficient permissions to access and modify the locked files.
  • File Not Locked: Verify that the file is indeed locked by another process before attempting to unlock it.
  • No Locks Found: If no locks are found on the specified files, funlockfile will exit with a message indicating this.


You can combine funlockfile with other commands to automate unlocking tasks:

# Unlock all files in a directory
find . -type f -exec unlockfile {} +

# Unlock files matching a specific pattern
find . -name '*.log' -exec unlockfile {} +

# Unlock files before deleting them
find . -type f -exec unlockfile {} \; -exec rm {} +

Related Commands

  • lockfile – Acquires file locks to prevent concurrent modification.
  • lsof – Lists open files and processes holding locks on them.
  • fuser – Identifies processes that have files open.