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From Konstantin Preißer <>
Subject RE: [OT] Cannot cleanly undeploy a web application
Date Wed, 17 Jul 2013 13:15:38 GMT

> From: André Warnier [] 
> Subject: Re: [OT] Cannot cleanly undeploy a web application
> I believe that the underlying issue here is the difference in behaviour between Windows

> and Unix/Linux, with regard to a file opened by one process, when another process tries
> delete the file.
> Unix/Linux allow this. The file entry in the directory is deleted, the process deleting
> gets no error. The file itself is not deleted, and the process which has it open still
> a handle to the file and can continue to access it.
> Under Windows however, the process trying to delete the file gets an error, at the very

> moment of the "delete".

I just wanted to add something:

The Unix behavior you describe is also possible under Windows. It depends on the "file share"
flag that is used to open a file.
I don't know how this works in the native WinAPI, but if you try the following C# code for
example (.Net) to read from a (big) file:

using (Stream s = new FileStream("C:\\MyBigFile.bin", FileMode.Open, FileAccess.Read, FileShare.Delete
| FileShare.Read)) {
    byte[] buf = new byte[128];
    int read;
    while ((read = s.Read(buf, 0, buf.Length)) > 0) {
        Console.WriteLine("Read: " + read + " bytes.");
        Thread.Sleep(2000); // wait 2 seconds

Then you can delete the file while it is still opened and the program reads from it. If you
look at the free space of the drive, you will see that the space that the file uses is not
yet available. As soon as you close the process / cancel the reading, the space will become

It seems that most programs don't open a file that way - that is why an error occurs when
trying to delete such a file. However, I don't know why most programs (or a Java InputStream
etc.) open a file for reading without specifying such a file share flag (E.g., in the above
code example, if you use a FileStream constructor that doesn't specify a FileShare flag, the
file cannot be deleted from other processes while it is opened). Maybe it is a design principle
in Windows to not be able to delete a opened file by default, so that a user doesn't accidentally
delete a file on which he is still working... but I don't know.

Konstantin Preißer

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