notify 4.0.17

Cross-platform filesystem notification library


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Cross-platform filesystem notification library for Rust.

(Looking for desktop notifications instead? Have a look at notify-rust or alert-after!)

As used by: alacritty, cargo watch, cobalt, docket, handlebars-iron, mdBook, pax, rdiff, timetrack, watchexec, xi-editor, and others.


notify = "4.0.17"


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)

Looking overly verbose? Too much boilerplate? Have a look at hotwatch, a friendly wrapper:

// Taken from the hotwatch readme
use hotwatch::{Hotwatch, Event};

let mut hotwatch = Hotwatch::new().expect("Hotwatch failed to initialize.");"war.png", |event: Event| {
    if let Event::Write(path) = event {
        println!("War has changed.");
}).expect("Failed to watch file!");


  • Linux / Android: inotify
  • macOS: 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.


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.