class asyncinotify.Event(watch: Watch | ReferenceType | None, mask: Mask, cookie: int, name: Path | None)

Event output class.

The Mask values may be tested directly against this class.

property cookie: int

The cookie associated with this event.

According to the inotify man page, cookie is a unique integer that connects related events. Currently, this is used only for rename events, and allows the resulting pair of Mask.MOVED_FROM and Mask.MOVED_TO events to be connected by the application. For all other event types, cookie is set to 0.


the cookie for this event

property mask: Mask

The mask associated with this event


the mask for this event

property name: Path | None

The name associated with the event. May be None, indicating the watch directory itself.


the name of the event, or None if the event is for the watch itself

property path: Path | None

The full path to this event, constructed from the Watch path and the name().

If the Watch no longer exists, this returns None. If the name() does not exist, just returns the watch path. This value is absolute if the path used to construct the Watch (the path used with Inotify.add_watch()) is absolute, otherwise it is relative. This means if you have changed directory between constructing a watch with a relative path and receiving this event, you will have to have another way of identifying the file correctly.


the full path for the event, or None if it can not be constructed.

property watch: Watch | None

The actual Watch instance associated with this event.

This is stored internally as a weak reference. If the event is taken out of context and outlives its generating Inotify, this may return None.

If mask() contains IGNORED or the watch was a ONESHOT, this is not a weak reference, but the actual watch instance. If the watch was ONESHOT, the corresponding IGNORED will not have a watch instance, only the ONESHOT event itself. This may be inconvenient, but the inotify man page doesn’t give strong enough guarantees to risk memory leak with ONESHOT events by leaving the ownership change exclusively to IGNORED events.


the watch instance that generated this

class asyncinotify.InitFlags(value, names=None, *values, module=None, qualname=None, type=None, start=1, boundary=None)

Init flags for use with the Inotify constructor.

You shouldn’t have a reason to use this, as CLOEXEC will be desired because there’s no reason for exec’d children to inherit inotify handles here, and NONBLOCK shouldn’t even make a difference due to the handle always being watched with select, unless you are using synchronous mode.

CLOEXEC = 524288

Set the close-on-exec (FD_CLOEXEC) flag on the new file descriptor. See the description of the O_CLOEXEC flag in open(2) for reasons why this may be useful.


Set the O_NONBLOCK file status flag on the open file description (see open(2)) referred to by the new file descriptor. Using this flag saves extra calls to fcntl(2) to achieve the same result.

class asyncinotify.Inotify(flags: ~asyncinotify.InitFlags = <InitFlags.CLOEXEC|NONBLOCK: 526336>, cache_size: int = 10, sync_timeout: float | None = None)

Core Inotify class.

Fetches events in bulk, if possible, and stores them internally.

Use get() to get a single event. This class operates as an async generator, and may be asynchronously iterated, and will return events forever.

  • cache_size (int) – The max number of full-size events to cache. The actual number may be higher, because most events will not be full-sized.

  • sync_timeout – If this is not None, then sync_get will wait on an epoll call for that long, and return None on a timeout. Normal iteration will also exit on a timeout.

add_watch(path: PathLike | bytes | str, mask: Mask) Watch

Add a watch dir.

  • path (pathlib.Path) – a string, bytes, or PathLike object

  • mask (Mask) – a Mask determining how the watch behaves


The relevant Watch instance

property cache_size: int

The maximum number of full-sized events (events with a NAME_MAX-length name) to store.

More events may be stored, because very few events should use a NAME_MAX length name.

close() None

Close the file descriptor for this inotify.

Once this is done, do not do anything more with this inotify instance. Associated Watch and Event instances are still valid, but no more may be created, and if this Inotify goes out of scope and is cleaned up, the Event may lose its Watch if you don’t have a reference to it.

This is automatically called when this class is used as a context manager.

property fd: int

Get the raw file descriptor.

async get() Event

Get a single next event.

This is the core method of event retrieval. Asynchronously iterating this class simply calls this method forever.

May actually pull multiple events from the inotify handle, and store extras internally. Will always only return one.

Building some events may cause changes in the associated Inotify or Watch instances. For instance, Mask.IGNORE will automatically remove its Watch instance from this Inotify object. A Mask.ONESHOT Watch will remove itself on the first event.


A watched path being moved will cause the relevant Watch.path() to be incorrect. This library will not automatically update it for you, because Mask.MOVE_SELF does not tell you the new name. You would have to watch the parent directory and change the Watch.path() value yourself if you want that functionality.

If you don’t do this and the watch path is moved, the Event will have a correct name but incorrect path.


a single Event

rm_watch(watch: Watch) None

Remove a watch from this inotify instance.

This will generate an Mask.IGNORED event that contains the Watch instance.


watch (Watch) – the Watch to remove

sync_get() Event | None

Get a single next event synchronously, or throw a blocking error if you’ve opened this in nonblocking mode.

All concerns that apply to get() also apply to this method.


a single Event, or None if sync_timeout is not None and the poll timed out.

property sync_timeout: float | None

The timeout for sync_get() and synchronous iteration.

Set this to None to disable and -1 to wait forever. These options can be different depending on the blocking flags selected.

class asyncinotify.Mask(value, names=None, *values, module=None, qualname=None, type=None, start=1, boundary=None)

Bit-mask for adding a watch and for analyzing watch events.

Because this is an IntFlag, all IntFlag operations work on it, such as using the bitwise or operator to combine, or using the in operator to check contents.


File was accessed (e.g., read(2), execve(2)).


Metadata changed—for example, permissions (e.g., chmod(2)), timestamps (e.g., utimensat(2)), extended attributes (setxattr(2)), link count (since Linux 2.6.25; e.g., for the target of link(2) and for unlink(2)), and user/group ID (e.g., chown(2)).

CLOSE = 24



File or directory not opened for writing was closed.


File opened for writing was closed.

CREATE = 256

File/directory created in watched directory (e.g., open(2) O_CREAT, mkdir(2), link(2), symlink(2), bind(2) on a UNIX domain socket).

DELETE = 512

File/directory deleted from watched directory.


Watched file/directory was itself deleted. (This event also occurs if an object is moved to another filesystem, since mv(1) in effect copies the file to the other filesystem and then deletes it from the original filesystem.) In addition, an Mask.IGNORED event will subsequently be generated for the watch descriptor.

DONT_FOLLOW = 33554432

Don’t dereference pathname if it is a symbolic link.

By default, when watching events on the children of a directory, events are generated for children even after they have been unlinked from the directory. This can result in large numbers of uninteresting events for some applications (e.g., if watching /tmp, in which many applications create temporary files whose names are immediately unlinked). Specifying Mask.EXCL_UNLINK changes the default behavior, so that events are not generated for children after they have been unlinked from the watched directory.

IGNORED = 32768

Watch was removed explicitly (inotify_rm_watch(2)) or automatically (file was deleted, or filesystem was unmounted).

ISDIR = 1073741824

Subject of this event is a directory.

MASK_ADD = 536870912

If a watch instance already exists for the filesystem object corresponding to pathname, add (OR) the events in mask to the watch mask (instead of replacing the mask); the error EINVAL results if Mask.MASK_CREATE is also specified.

MASK_CREATE = 268435456

(since Linux 4.18) Watch pathname only if it does not already have a watch associated with it; the error EEXIST results if pathname is already being watched. Using this flag provides an application with a way of ensuring that new watches do not modify existing ones. This is useful because multiple paths may refer to the same inode, and multiple calls to inotify_add_watch(2) without this flag may clobber existing watch masks.


File was modified (e.g., write(2), truncate(2)).

MOVE = 192



Generated for the directory containing the old filename when a file is renamed. Note the cookie member in Event.

MOVED_TO = 128

Generated for the directory containing the new filename when a file is renamed. Note the cookie member in Event.

MOVE_SELF = 2048

Watched file/directory was itself moved.

ONESHOT = 2147483648

Monitor the filesystem object corresponding to pathname for one event, then remove from watch list.

ONLYDIR = 16777216

(since Linux 2.6.15) Watch pathname only if it is a directory; the error ENOTDIR results if pathname is not a directory. Using this flag provides an application with a race-free way of ensuring that the monitored object is a directory.

OPEN = 32

File or directory was opened.

Q_OVERFLOW = 16384

Event queue overflowed (wd is -1 for this event ( will be None)).

UNMOUNT = 8192

Filesystem containing watched object was unmounted. In addition, an Mask.IGNORED event will subsequently be generated for the watch descriptor.

class asyncinotify.Watch(inotify: Inotify, path: Path, mask: Mask, wd: int)

Watch class.

You usually won’t construct this directly, but rather use Inotify.add_watch() to create it.

property inotify: Inotify | None

The Inotify instance this Watch belongs to.

This is internally stored as a weakref, so if the Watch outlives the Inotify, this may return None.


The Inotify instance this Watch belongs to.

property mask: Mask

The mask that was used to construct this watch

property path: Path

The path that this watch is for.

property wd: int

The raw watch descriptor.