python-inotify /

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About python-inotify

This is python-inotify, a Python interface to the Linux 2.6 kernel's inotify subsystem. The inotify subsystem provides an efficient way to let a process watch for changes to files and directories.

This package provides both low- and high-level interfaces to inotify.

The low-level interface is provided through the inotify module. It provides wrappers around the inotify system calls, a read function that returns useful event objects, and relevant constants.

The higher-level interface is more useful, and is provided through the inotify.watcher package. It provides two classes, Watcher and AutoWatcher, which allow you to not worry about file descriptor management, and a third, Threshold, which lets you decide whether you want to read queued events yet.

This package was written by Bryan O'Sullivan and published at, but seems to be no longer maintained. The motivation for this original release can be found at Python-inotify is now maintained by Jan Kanis at

This package is not pyinotify

To confuse matters a little, there's another Python inotify interface available, called pyinotify. I wrote python-inotify as a reaction to pyinotify, after trying to use pyinotify a little and finding it lacking. In my admittedly brief experience, pyinotify was buggy and slow to the extent that I stopped trying to fix its problems and wrote a new implementation instead.

One difference is that pyinotify has a callback based API in which you define callbacks or methods that are called when a specific event happens, forcing an event-driven programmig style. Python-inotify has an API that allows you to use a blocking call.

You can find pyinotify at