Section: Linux Programmer's Manual (2)
inotify_add_watch - add a watch to an initialized inotify instance
int inotify_add_watch(int fd, const char *pathname, uint32_t mask);
adds a new watch, or modifies an existing watch,
for the file whose location is specified in
the caller must have read permission for this file.
argument is a file descriptor referring to the
inotify instance whose watch list is to be modified.
The events to be monitored for
are specified in the
for a description of the bits that can be set in
A successful call to
returns a unique watch descriptor for this inotify instance,
for the filesystem object (inode) that corresponds to
If the filesystem object
was not previously being watched by this inotify instance,
then the watch descriptor is newly allocated.
If the filesystem object was already being watched
(perhaps via a different link to the same object), then the descriptor
for the existing watch is returned.
The watch descriptor is returned by later
from the inotify file descriptor.
These reads fetch
indicating filesystem events;
the watch descriptor inside this structure identifies
the object for which the event occurred.
returns a watch descriptor (a nonnegative integer).
On error, -1 is returned and
is set appropriately.
Read access to the given file is not permitted.
The given file descriptor is not valid.
refers to a file already being watched by the same
points outside of the process's accessible address space.
The given event mask contains no valid events; or
is not an inotify file descriptor.
is too long.
A directory component in
does not exist or is a dangling symbolic link.
Insufficient kernel memory was available.
The user limit on the total number of inotify watches was reached or the
kernel failed to allocate a needed resource.
is not a directory.
Inotify was merged into the 2.6.13 Linux kernel.
This system call is Linux-specific.
This page is part of release 5.10 of the Linux
A description of the project,
information about reporting bugs,
and the latest version of this page,
can be found at