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Recursive inotify watches based on inotify_simple.

Project description

Inotify Recursive - Recursive inotify watches for Python

Inotify Recursive is a Python package that offers a simple way to watch a directory-tree recursively for file changes via the inotify functionality of the Linux kernel. It uses the inotify_simple package to set and remove the inotify watches and also incorporates its whole functionality. The package is written in Python and licensed as open-source under the LGPL version 3.

At the moment the main purpose of Inotify Recursive is to provide the file watching functionality for Synoindex Watcher, a small tool that automatically updates the media index of Synology DiskStations.

This Python package is still an alpha! Its core functionality has been tested and is working, but there could still be undiscovered bugs. Also breaking interface changes are likely to happen, so it is not recommended to use it in production projects, yet.


  • Small About 150 lines of code (including comments)
  • Powerful All features of inotify_simple plus recursive watching
  • Agnostic Python 2 and Python 3 compatible (minimum tested version is 2.7)


The recommended installation method is via pip:

python -m pip install --upgrade inotifyrecursive

You can use the same command to upgrade Inotify Recursive from an older version.

This will also install its dependency inotify_simple.


Please read the docs for inotify_simple first, since the basic usage is the same.

The INotify class of Inotify Recursive provides three additional methods, which are useful, if a directory shall be watched recursively:

inotify.add_watch_recursive(path, mask, filter = None)

  • path The path to watch
  • mask The mask of events to watch for
  • filter A function to ignore certain sub-directories

Returns the descriptor for the newly created watch of the directory where the given path points to. Unlike add_watch() this function also creates watches for all sub-directories below it. The descriptors of the sub-watches are not returned.

The filter function is optional. It takes the name of the file or directory and the descriptor of the watcher of the parent directory. The filter returns a boolean value, which describes whether the directory shall be watched (True) or ignored (False). If no filter is set, all files and sub-directories will be watched.


  • wd The watch descriptor to remove

Removes the watch with the given descriptor and all associated sub-watches. Should be used for any watch that has been created by add_watch_recursive().


  • wd The watch descriptor the path is fetched for

Returns the absolute path of the directory associated to the watch with given descriptor.

Copyright 2019,2020 Torben Haase <>

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