notify 4.0.0

Cross-platform filesystem notification library


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Cross-platform filesystem notification library for Rust.

As used by: cargo watch, cobalt, handlebars-iron, rdiff, and watchexec. (Want to be added to this list? Open a pull request!)


notify = "4.0.0"


extern crate notify;

use notify::{RecommendedWatcher, Watcher, RecursiveMode};
use std::sync::mpsc::channel;
use std::time::Duration;

fn watch() -> notify::Result<()> {
    // Create a channel to receive the events.
    let (tx, rx) = channel();

    // Automatically select the best implementation for your platform.
    // You can also access each implementation directly e.g. INotifyWatcher.
    let mut watcher: RecommendedWatcher = try!(Watcher::new(tx, Duration::from_secs(2)));

    // Add a path to be watched. All files and directories at that path and
    // below will be monitored for changes.
    try!("/home/test/notify", RecursiveMode::Recursive));

    // This is a simple loop, but you may want to use more complex logic here,
    // for example to handle I/O.
    loop {
        match rx.recv() {
            Ok(event) => println!("{:?}", event),
            Err(e) => println!("watch error: {:?}", e),

fn main() {
    if let Err(e) = watch() {
        println!("error: {:?}", e)

Version 2.x

The documentation for the previous major version is available on While version 2.x will no longer be maintained and we encourage all library authors to switch to version 3+ (a short guide is provided below), it is still a dependency of many packages. Here is a list of changes you may need to take note of:

  • Notify 2.x by default provided the events immediately as reported from the backend API. Notify 3+ by default debounces the events — if the backend reports two similar events in close succession, Notify will only report one. The old behaviour may be obtained through the Watcher::new_raw() function and RawEvent type, see the documentation.

  • Notify 2.x always tried to watch paths recursively in the case of directories. Notify 3+ gives you the choice of what mode you'd like to use per-watch, using the RecursiveMode enum. The watch(...) function thus takes the mode as a second argument.

  • Notify 2.x had two behaviour bugs with the inotify backend, that are corrected in Notify 3+. Nonetheless, these are breaking changes:

    • inotify did not remove watches recursively; and
    • inotify did not watch newly created folders.

To upgrade to Notify 3+ with minimal behaviour change:

  • Replace Watcher::new with Watcher::new_raw.
  • Replace Event with EventRaw.
  • Import notify::RecursiveMode and add RecursiveMode::Recursive as second argument to the watch() function.


  • Linux / Android: inotify
  • OS X: FSEvents
  • Windows: ReadDirectoryChangesW
  • All platforms: polling


Due to the inner security model of FSEvents (see FileSystemEventSecurity), some event cannot be observed easily when trying to follow files that do not belong to you. In this case, reverting to the pollwatcher can fix the issue, with a slight performance cost.


  • BSD / OS X / iOS: kqueue
  • Solaris 11: FEN

Pull requests and bug reports happily accepted!


Inspired by Go's fsnotify and Node.js's Chokidar, born out of need for cargo watch, and general frustration at the non-existence of C/Rust cross-platform notify libraries.

Written by Félix Saparelli and awesome contributors, and released in the Public Domain using the Creative Commons Zero Declaration.