BSD3 licensed by Lennart Kolmodin
Maintained by Lennart Kolmodin

Module documentation for 0.3.9

hinotify: inotify for Haskell

Build Status


hinotify, a library to inotify which has been part of the Linux kernel since 2.6.13.

inotify provides file system event notification, simply add a watcher to a file or directory and get an event when it is accessed or modified.

This module is named hinotify.

See example code in the examples directory, distributed with the source code.


hinotify 0.3.7

  • Bug fix: When registerering a new watch on a path which is already watched, don't overwrite the event listener from the previous watch.

hinotify 0.3.2

  • Make each WatchDescriptor contain its INotify. Changes to the function types:

 -removeWatch :: INotify -> WatchDescriptor -> IO ()
 +removeWatch :: WatchDescriptor -> IO ()
  • Fix typo in declaration of Deleted in data Event;

 - { isDirecotry :: Bool
 + { isDirectory :: Bool

hinotify 0.3.1

  • Use inotify.h from glibc rather than from the linux headers, as recommended upstream.

hinotify 0.3

  • Compiles with GHC 6.12, GHC 6.10.4, GHC 6.8.2 and GHC 6.6.1

hinotify 0.2

  • Updates to the API
    • Function names is now in semiCamelCase
    • Restructure event parameters to make it more consistent
  • Small test suit in tests/
  • Compiles with GHC 6.8.2 and GHC 6.6.1
  • Requires Cabal 1.2

hinotify 0.1 : Initial release


The API basically consists of:

initINotify :: IO INotify
addWatch :: INotify
         -> [EventVariety]   -- different events to listen on
         -> FilePath         -- file/directory to watch
         -> (Event -> IO ()) -- event handler
         -> IO WatchDescriptor
removeWatch :: WatchDescriptor -> IO ()

A sample program:

import System.Directory
import System.IO

import System.INotify

main :: IO ()
main = do
  inotify <- initINotify
  print inotify
  home <- getHomeDirectory
  wd <- addWatch
  print wd
  putStrLn "Listens to your home directory. Hit enter to terminate."
  removeWatch wd


The code is available via the homepage, and via darcs:

git clone

The API is available online.

I'm most grateful for feedback on the API, and what else you might have to suggest.


Lennart Kolmodin

kolmodin at

This software is released under a BSD-style license. See LICENSE for more details.

Copyright © 2007-2012 Lennart Kolmodin




Patches contributed by Simon Marlow

  • Don't run callbacks in mask_.

    It prevented the callback threads from receiving StackOverflow, amongst other things.

  • Synchronous killThread.

    killThread will now wait for the callback dispatcher threads to finish.

  • Bug fixes


  • Use file system encoding for file names.

    When run in a locale like LANG=C, this ensures that the filename is encoded as a filename, so that arbitrary bytes in it will round-trip correctly, rather than being stripped out.


    Patch contributed by Joey Hess

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