When log in Lubuntu, I can't

$ sudo umount /home
umount: /home: target is busy.

where /home itself is a mount point of a filesystem.

How can you umount /home?

/ can't be umounted, because OS is running from it. Can /home be easier to be umounted?


  • Linux don't allow you to umount a mount point if there's still some living reference to it. – 炸鱼薯条德里克 Feb 24 at 2:23

You can unmount /home if it's an independent file system. The Target is busy message means that there are either:

  1. files under /home that are still open
  2. directories under /home that are the CWD of some process (this could be the shell from which you try to unmount /home)
  3. a filesystem mounted on a mount point under /home

For 1) and 2), the lsof command can help, but if you are using a GUI, you have very many files permanently open under /home/{your id} so unmounting /home is not going to be easy. If you log using a TTY instead of a GUI, you can better control what process are running with your id and what files are open.

  • Thanks. Do you think it is better to boot into a live Lubuntu so that the /home on disk is not mounted by default? – Tim Feb 24 at 0:06
  • 1
    Yes, it could make things easier. But why do you want to unnount /home?. – xenoid Feb 24 at 0:49
  • 2
    I agree that it’ll be difficult if your logged in (even at the text console) as a user, if your ~ is on /home, but I want to warn you that even if you manage to log in as root, you might encounter a situation where /home is unmountable. If you use systemd and you have any services that have ProtectHome=read-only, it will have a bind mount of home that will prevent /home from being uncounted. It won’t show it in lsof, since it is a kernel syscall. – jsbillings Feb 24 at 1:13

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