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19. Monitoring File Events > The inotify API

The inotify API

The inotify_init() system call creates a new inotify instance.

#include <sys/inotify.h>

int inotify_init(void);

Note

Returns file descriptor on success, or -1 on error

As its function result, inotify_init() returns a file descriptor. This file descriptor is the handle that is used to refer to the inotify instance in subsequent operations.

Note

Starting with kernel 2.6.27, Linux supports a new, nonstandard system call, inotify_init1(). This system call performs the same task as inotify_init(), but provides an additional argument, flags, that can be used to modify the behavior of the system call. Two flags are supported. The IN_CLOEXEC flag causes the kernel to enable the close-on-exec flag (FD_CLOEXEC) for the new file descriptor. This flag is useful for the same reasons as the open() O_CLOEXEC flag described in File descriptor number returned by open() . The IN_NONBLOCK flag causes the kernel to enable the O_NONBLOCK flag on the underlying open file description, so that future reads will be nonblocking. This saves additional calls to fcntl() to achieve the same result.


  

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