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I'm using a rescue-live-system (similar to a live-cd) to fix some issues with my Debian server, like that:

# mkdir -p /mnt/rescue
# mount /dev/md2 /mnt/rescue
# mount --bind /dev /mnt/rescue/dev/
# mount --bind /proc /mnt/rescue/proc/
# mount --bind /sys /mnt/rescue/sys/

Now I can chroot to /mnt/rescue - but after I'm done, how to unmount the filesystem again?

umount: /mnt/rescue: target is busy.
    (In some cases useful info about processes that use
     the device is found by lsof(8) or fuser(1))

I guess it's because dev, proc and sys are bound to the mounted file system. But it's not possible to unmount them either...

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What happens when you try to unmount /mnt/rescue/proc? Are you sure you don't still have processes running in that chroot? –  Mat Jan 20 '13 at 9:20
Try lsof /mnt/rescue to see what process is using that folder. –  Martín Canaval Jan 20 '13 at 9:22
You need to leave the chrooted shell before shutting down. –  vonbrand Jan 21 '13 at 17:22

2 Answers 2

up vote 6 down vote accepted
  1. You have to first exit the chroot session, usually a simple exit will do. You may want to do a sync first.

  2. Then umount ALL the binded directory

    umount /mnt/rescue/dev/
    umount /mnt/rescue/proc/
    umount /mnt/rescue/sys/
  3. Then

    umount /mnt/rescue
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thanks, that's it... my mistake was trying to unmount /sys/ instead of /mnt/rescue/sys/ ... –  vertoe Jan 20 '13 at 17:21
The sync is totally useless. –  Gilles Jan 20 '13 at 22:54
@Gilles Can you elaborate abit more why sync is useless? Does it become useless in current kernel? Or only in this case(rescue mode)? I put it there just in case there are huge pending write to disk that will prevent umount after exiting chroot. –  John Siu Jan 21 '13 at 2:44
@JohnSiu sync has no influence on whether unmounting is possible. Unmounting flushes pending writes anyway (it has to, because there'd be nowhere for them to go after the unmounting). The presence of a chrooted process is irrelevant (except in that it prevents unmounting). In normal system operation, sync has no observable effect. sync only makes a difference if a device is physically disconnected without having been unmounted or if the system crashes while the device is mounted. –  Gilles Jan 21 '13 at 10:35
@Gilles I understand your point now. Thank you!! –  John Siu Jan 21 '13 at 10:50

Execute the below command to force and Detach the filesystem from the filesystem hierarchy, and cleanup all references to the filesystem as soon as it is not busy anymore.

umount -lf /mnt/rescue
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