inotify_init man page

inotify_init, inotify_init1 ā€” initialize an inotify instance


#include <sys/inotify.h>

int inotify_init(void);
int inotify_init1(int flags);


For an overview of the inotify API, see inotify(7).

inotify_init() initializes a new inotify instance and returns a file descriptor associated with a new inotify event queue.

If flags is 0, then inotify_init1() is the same as inotify_init(). The following values can be bitwise ORed in flags to obtain different behavior:


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


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.

Return Value

On success, these system calls return a new file descriptor. On error, -1 is returned, and errno is set to indicate the error.



(inotify_init1()) An invalid value was specified in flags.


The user limit on the total number of inotify instances has been reached.


The per-process limit on the number of open file descriptors has been reached.


The system-wide limit on the total number of open files has been reached.


Insufficient kernel memory is available.


inotify_init() first appeared in Linux 2.6.13; library support was added to glibc in version 2.4. inotify_init1() was added in Linux 2.6.27; library support was added to glibc in version 2.9.

Conforming to

These system calls are Linux-specific.

See Also

inotify_add_watch(2), inotify_rm_watch(2), inotify(7)


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Referenced By

inotify(7), inotify_add_watch(2), inotify_rm_watch(2), proc(5), syscalls(2).

The man page inotify_init1(2) is an alias of inotify_init(2).

2017-09-15 Linux Programmer's Manual