Clone this repo:
  1. f0c08ee Merge pull request #112 from ForrestWeston/master by Chris Howey · 9 years ago master
  2. 4315d73 Update README by Forrest Weston · 9 years ago
  3. 4894fe7 Merge pull request #109 from missdeer/master by Chris Howey · 9 years ago
  4. 467c94c Update fsnotify_open_bsd.go by Fan Yang · 9 years ago
  5. 4107cf5 Update fsnotify_bsd.go by Fan Yang · 9 years ago

File system notifications for Go


Cross platform: Windows, Linux, BSD and OS X.

Moving Notice

There is a fork being actively developed with a new API in preparation for the Go Standard Library:


package main

import (


func main() {
	watcher, err := fsnotify.NewWatcher()
	if err != nil {

	done := make(chan bool)

	// Process events
	go func() {
		for {
			select {
			case ev := <-watcher.Event:
				log.Println("event:", ev)
			case err := <-watcher.Error:
				log.Println("error:", err)

	err = watcher.Watch("testDir")
	if err != nil {
	// Hang so program doesn't exit

	/* ... do stuff ... */

For each event:

  • Name
  • IsCreate()
  • IsDelete()
  • IsModify()
  • IsRename()


When a file is moved to another directory is it still being watched?

No (it shouldn't be, unless you are watching where it was moved to).

When I watch a directory, are all subdirectories watched as well?

No, you must add watches for any directory you want to watch (a recursive watcher is in the works #56).

Do I have to watch the Error and Event channels in a separate goroutine?

As of now, yes. Looking into making this single-thread friendly (see #7)

Why am I receiving multiple events for the same file on OS X?

Spotlight indexing on OS X can result in multiple events (see #62). A temporary workaround is to add your folder(s) to the Spotlight Privacy settings until we have a native FSEvents implementation (see #54).

How many files can be watched at once?

There are OS-specific limits as to how many watches can be created:

  • Linux: /proc/sys/fs/inotify/max_user_watches contains the limit, reaching this limit results in a “no space left on device” error.
  • BSD / OSX: sysctl variables “kern.maxfiles” and “kern.maxfilesperproc”, reaching these limits results in a “too many open files” error.