If you try to delete a directory over NFS and get an error such as...
rm: cannot remove directory 'asdf/': File exists
... you will notice that conventional methods won't be good enough to remove it.
$ chmod -R 777 asdf/
$ rm -rf asdf/
$ rm: cannot remove directory 'asdf/': File exists
Usually there is a file like .nfs234B inside the directory than can be displayed with ls -la Removing this file only replaces it with another. There are two solutions: manually delete the file on the NFS server, or (if you don't have that type of access) kill its process.
$fuser -u asdf/.*
asdf/.:     9070c(user)
asdf/..:    28690c(user)   24845c(user)
asdf/.nfs934B:     9070tm(user)
9070 is the offending process. Kill it with fire.
$ kill -9 9070
Should be able to remove that directory now.

posted by paulie
4:12 PST - May 20, 2009