SUMMARY: which files are being accessed via NFS?

From: Ron van Riet (
Date: Wed Apr 05 1995 - 19:24:59 CDT

Hello world,

I took my time, but here is the summary of the responses I got to my question
about NFS files. I got quite some replies and a few me-too's. Thanks to all
who responded!

The general concencus was that I should take a look at "nfswatch" and use
"iostat" to get the load of the disks. The nfswatch splits out the requests
over all mounted partitions, so now you can see what mayor parts of your
disks are being accessed. Going in further detail requires matching NFS
filehandles using shofh and requires to write a program to do the work.
Who knows, maybe some day I will...

Here are my original posting and a summary of the replies:

Original posting:
I was wondering if it is possible to identify which files are being accessed via
NFS. I'm trying to ballance the load of some disks, but I don't know what to
parts of the disks are being accessed the most. What tools are available?

Hal Stern: nfswatch, catching filehandles on read/writes and mathing them
           up using showfh to convert them back into file names.
           For disk-balancing don't look at NFS only, because may not
           correspond to the real disk load, which includes paging, touching
           files on the disk, etc. Use iostat -x or iostat -D and try to
           smooth out the disk i/o loads.

Gary Blumenstein: tcpdump '-s 256 ip proto udp and host devfs2_d2' | grep nfs
                  and you will see the names of the files flying by.

John Brooks: I drew out a picture of the nfs mount process and all the files
             it accesses. this was to help me figure out how it worked.

Bert Robbins: nfswatch

Mattias Zhabinskiy: lsof

Kevin Sheehan: iostat -D -x to show the load of the disks

Colin Macleod: nfswatch, can be found at:

Ray Trzaska: lsof -N

Seong-Woon Kim: Me-Too

Lenny Turetsky: nfswatch and lsof

Mike Rhyner: "Thanks for bringing this to my attention."

Jeremy D. Zawodny: nfswatch

William Price: nfsstat -m

Nishan Sandhar: Me-Too

Thanks again for the responses. They were a big help!


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