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We have an application running (on RHEL5), streaming data onto an NFS share. Recently we saw a lot of .nfsXXXX... (xxx being a hexadecimal number) appearing in its working directory, where the application writes hourly files an later moves them to a different filename.

What are those ? is it an indication of something gone wrong - how to do further diagnosis ?

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up vote 20 down vote accepted

"The .nfs files are created when an open file is removed but is still being accessed"

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The referenced link appears to be dead – pefu Mar 17 at 13:29
@pefu fixed. Thanks – adamo Mar 17 at 21:07
@adamo: Your link doesn't work for me, this version from does. – Christian Aichinger May 3 at 7:01

Nothing is going wrong. This is your NFS client trying to maintain proper "delete on later close" unix behavior within its own operational abilities. This NFS behavior is known as "silly rename":

NFSv4.1 will get away from this behavior with OPEN4_RESULT_PRESERVE_UNLINKED:

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Adamo is correct. Make sure that your app is closing the files once it is done with them.

If you can't fix the app for whatever reason, you could create a cron job to regularly remove the files.

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That cron job would be useless. As long as the files are open, removing the .nfsxxxx files will just trigger new .nfsyyyy files popping out. – jlliagre Nov 19 '10 at 9:03
It's not useless because usually they get closed later but the file stays. – JOTN Feb 12 '11 at 14:08

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