One virtual machine runnning on Xen host experienced 'Stale NFS file handle' problems and I can't explain it while there is no NFS mount present.

The problem occurs when listing the content on a specific directory:

$ ls -la
ls: cannot access xxx: Stale NFS file handle

The following command returns nothing:

mount -t nfs

Other info:

# cat /etc/debian_version 

# uname -a 
Linux abc 2.6.26-1-xen-amd64 #1 SMP Fri Mar 13 21:39:38 UTC 2009 x86_64 GNU/Linux

migrated from stackoverflow.com Oct 20 '11 at 14:36

This question came from our site for professional and enthusiast programmers.

  • 1
    Conpare the contents of /etc/mtab with the output of cat /proc/mounts. I have that error rarely, usually I do exportfs -r on the NFS-Server and then remount all NFS mounts on the client. – ott-- Oct 20 '11 at 15:43

With no-NFS problem seems filesystem integrity. Try to check filesystem. It worked for me.


This error comes up when client is trying to access a file or a directory which is removed/replaced.

Here are some solutions to try:

  • unmount and remount: you may use -l option for lazy unmount
  • create a new mount point
  • restart nfs client
  • touch this file, for e.g: touch xxx

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy