I get the following error when running sudo visudo on my Ubuntu:

visudo: /etc/sudoers busy ,try again later

2 Answers 2


Had you already run visudo ? That error indicates that the file is already being edited. First stop the other process with:

killall visudo

Also run

visudo -c 

to make sure that the sudoers file was not corrupted.

  • It is not working: mifi@mifi-Aspire-E1-572 ~> killall visudo visudo(9348): Operation not permitted visudo: no process found mifi@mifi-Aspire-E1-572 ~> visudo -c visudo: unable to open /etc/sudoers: Permission denied mifi@mifi-Aspire-E1-572 ~> sudo visudo -c /etc/sudoers: parsed OK /etc/sudoers.d/README: parsed OK mifi@mifi-Aspire-E1-572 ~> sudo visudo visudo: /etc/sudoers busy, try again later Still stuck with the same error. Jul 6, 2017 at 7:02
  • What is the output for "ps -ef|grep sudo" on your machine? Jul 6, 2017 at 7:08

If the accepted answer not working for you, then you can try this:

List all processes that use sudo

ps -ef|grep sudo

then you should kill all process id that existed in the second columns, by using this command:


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