Is there a way to make lsof work continuously to monitor every file that is being opened in real time?

I don't know the name of the process. I want lsof to work continuously for a period of time until I see the the list contains what I want.

1 Answer 1


I believe since you do not know the file name/process id, you could specify user name option as below.

lsof -r 2 -u username
  • The "-r 2" option puts lsof in repeat mode, with updates every 2 seconds. (Ctrl -c quits)
  • The "-u' option can be used to keep an eye on a users activity.

If you know the directory name under which the application is being run and do not want to specify the user name,you could use the command like,

lsof +D /some/dir -r 2 


View Network Activity of any application or user in real time

  • 1
    @DigitalRobot, you could also refer to this link for more wonderful examples.
    – Ramesh
    Sep 23, 2014 at 15:11
  • fantastic!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    – Duck
    Sep 23, 2014 at 15:18
  • 2
    there is a way to see what has changed in that period ? I mean sometimes the list is very large and I might just want to make something and see which files has been opened in that time.
    – yucer
    Dec 7, 2015 at 10:38
  • 3
    Could a process open and close a file within the 2 second interval? Dec 15, 2015 at 3:46

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