Ask Ubuntu is a question and answer site for Ubuntu users and developers. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I attempted to mv a 14GB file from my local filesystem to a smb share on my windows system. The mv failed and, after checking ls and df, the file doesn't appear in the index, yet the space is still taken.

I don't really care about this file, as it was only a backup tar that can be recreated, so my goal is to get rid of the file entirely. lsof|grep did not return anything for the file. extundelete wouldn't install properly, so I'm running out of ideas.

I'm limited to a 60GB hdd on a laptop with only 30% left so I don't have many options as far as extracting lost files from the filesystem. I just want to get rid of the file now (it was in the home path ~/). Any thoughts?

share|improve this question
Did you restart both devices and then look for them again? What is the format of the source drive in question (I assume ext4 from your remarks)? – ylluminate Sep 15 '13 at 4:49
up vote 0 down vote accepted

Possibly the file is marked as deleted but still held open by the SMB client process - the space won't be reclaimed until all open file handles are closed. You could try unmounting the SMB share to see if that releases the disk space, or restarting the computer for same.

share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.