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Daniel Molkentin
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So today at systemd.conf I chatted with some participants about a problem that I still find remarkable to date: Linux has dnotify, inotify and fanotify, but none of them seem be a good fit for modern desktops.

There is a need for an API that, without polling, provides

- recursive watches by default (unlike dnotify and inotify)
- sane limits (unlike inotify, which hits limits when its abused for recursive watching)
- reports on all events (renames, etc) (unlike fa_notify)
- works without requiring CAP_SYS_ADMIN (unlike fa_notify)

Bonus: persists watches across application and even OS restarts (as seen on OS X).

Use cases I've come across in my career:

- watch directories full of config files to respond to changes (e.g. KDE)
- watch source code repos for changes (e.g. an IDE like Qt Creator)
- watch arbitrary folders for changes  (e.g. ownCloud Client, Dropbox, ...)

I know I'm not the first one to be annoyed by this (I remember tracker folks asking for a similar API), but is there a strong technical reason why such an API did never emerge? I'm happy for any pointer.

Post has shared content
So today at systemd.conf I chatted with some participants about a problem that I still find remarkable to date: Linux has dnotify, inotify and fanotify, but none of them seem be a good fit for modern desktops.

There is a need for an API that, without polling, provides

- recursive watches by default (unlike dnotify and inotify)
- sane limits (unlike inotify, which hits limits when its abused for recursive watching)
- reports on all events (renames, etc) (unlike fa_notify)
- works without requiring CAP_SYS_ADMIN (unlike fa_notify)

Bonus: persists watches across application and even OS restarts (as seen on OS X).

Use cases I've come across in my career:

- watch directories full of config files to respond to changes (e.g. KDE)
- watch source code repos for changes (e.g. an IDE like Qt Creator)
- watch arbitrary folders for changes  (e.g. ownCloud Client, Dropbox, ...)

I know I'm not the first one to be annoyed by this (I remember tracker folks asking for a similar API), but is there a strong technical reason why such an API did never emerge? I'm happy for any pointer.

So today at systemd.conf I chatted with some participants about a problem that I still find remarkable to date: Linux has dnotify, inotify and fanotify, but none of them seem be a good fit for modern desktops.

There is a need for an API that, without polling, provides

- recursive watches by default (unlike dnotify and inotify)
- sane limits (unlike inotify, which hits limits when its abused for recursive watching)
- reports on all events (renames, etc) (unlike fa_notify)
- works without requiring CAP_SYS_ADMIN (unlike fa_notify)
- PID awareness (so you can ignore e.g your own events).

Bonus: persists watches across application and even OS restarts (as seen on OS X).

Use cases I've come across in my career:

- watch directories full of config files to respond to changes (e.g. KDE)
- watch source code repos for changes (e.g. an IDE like Qt Creator)
- watch arbitrary folders for changes  (e.g. ownCloud Client, Dropbox, ...)

I know I'm not the first one to be annoyed by this (I remember tracker folks asking for a similar API), but is there a strong technical reason why such an API did never emerge? I'm happy for any pointer.

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In the 8th #ownCloudConf interview we publish, +Daniel Molkentin talks about the #ownCloud Client, collaboration between Inc. and Org and other communities and what exciting stuff is coming.

Share if you like the interview!

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I have cynical ideas for most of the blanks. Am I in this city for too long or is that just my grumpy nature?

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Since I promised I'd update it once in a while, here is the latest version of my handy links for SSL/TLS deployment.

Is there a tool that, given a library or the symbolic disassembly of a library, can tell which instruction sets / extensions are used? (Short of using +Thiago Macieira's manual abilities in that sector :)

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Verkehrsinsel aus der Hölle.
Magic Roundabout in Swindon, England.
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The fact that inotify is still considered gold standard and that instead of improving or replacing it with something decent, a solution as crappy as fanotify has been allowed into the kernel speaks volumes about Linux Kernel development. Elsewhere, FSEvents (starting from OS X 10.7) is centuries ahead: Subscription to recursive per-file change events, including the responsible PID. Clearly, 2014 will be the year of the Linux Desktop.  #linux   #inotify   #fanotify   #owncloud
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