Watchman is known to compile and pass its test suite on:
- Linux systems with
- macOS (uses
kqueue(2)on earlier versions)
- Windows x64 on Windows 7, Windows Server 2012 R2 and later is currently in beta status.
Watchman used to support the following systems, but no one is actively maintaining them. The core of the code should be OK, but they likely don't build. We'd love it if someone would step forward to maintain them:
- BSDish systems (FreeBSD 9.1, OpenBSD 5.2) that have the
- Illumos and Solaris style systems that have
Watchman relies on the operating system facilities for file notification, which means that you will likely have very poor results using it on any kind of remote or distributed filesystem.
Watchman does not currently support any other operating system not covered by the list above.
Download for Windows (Beta)
Watchman is considered to be in beta status for Windows but has a reasonably sized group of users depending on it already, and we expect to remove the beta label in the coming months.
Watchman was built to support Windows Server 2012 R2 and later, but has had community-provided patches that enable support for Windows 7 and later.
At this time, we recommend running the latest master build of watchman on Windows; see below for binary downloads!
If you encounter issues with the Windows version of watchman, please report them via GitHub! You can find the list of known Windows issues here.
Binary Downloads for Linux, macOS and Windows (Beta)
We use GitHub Actions to build binaries for the following platforms:
- Ubuntu 18.04
GitHub Actions doesn't provide a way to link directly to these builds at this time, so you will need to follow these steps to download the binaries:
- Navigate to recent CI builds
- Click on the
- Look in the top right of the resulting page for the
- Click it to reveal the download artifacts link
- Click that and extract the zip file
- For Windows users:
windows\bindirectory somewhere and add it to your
Installing on macOS or Linux via Homebrew
To build the most recent release currently tracked by Homebrew:
$ brew update$ brew install watchman
To install the latest build from github:
$ brew install --HEAD watchman
Installing on macOS via macports
To install the package maintained by MacPorts:
$ sudo port install watchman
Installing from source
You can use these steps below to get watchman built. You will need
glibtool on macOS).
You may optionally build watchman without
python support (see
configuration options below).
For python support, you will need
setuptools and may need to install a
python-devel package. To build the C++ client library you
will need to install
See below for some more information on options to configure your build.
$ # use the latest stable release$ git clone https://github.com/facebook/watchman.git -b v4.9.0 --depth 1$ cd watchman$ ./autogen.sh$ ./configure$ make$ sudo make install
Compile Time Configuration Options
Our configure script accepts all the standard options, but there are a couple that are specific to watchman that might be relevant to your needs:
--enable-conffile=PATH Use PATH as the default configuration file name.Default is /etc/watchman.json--enable-statedir=PATH Use PATH as the default for state, log filesand sockets instead of using your system tempdir--enable-lenient Turn off more pedantic levels of warningsand compilation checks--enable-stack-protector Enable stack protection in the sameway that rpmbuild does on some systems.--enable-cppclient Enable build of the C++ client library. This is built bydefault if Folly is available.--with-buildinfo=TEXT Include some extra build information that willbe reported in the version command output--without-python Disable python bindings--with-python=PATH Enable Python bindings. PATH is location of python.Default is to look for python in your PATH--without-pcre Don't enable pcre support.--with-pcre=PATH Enable pcre support. PATH is location of pcre-config.Default is to enable and look for pcre-config in your$PATH--with-folly=PATH Specify root for Folly (needed for the C++ client library)https://github.com/facebook/folly
./configure --help to get the list for the version you checked out)
We use continuous integration to build out every revision and pull-request to make sure that we don't accidentally break things. The current build status is:
System Specific Preparation
Linux inotify Limits
inotify(7) subsystem has three important tunings that impact watchman.
/proc/sys/fs/inotify/max_user_instancesimpacts how many different root dirs you can watch.
/proc/sys/fs/inotify/max_user_watchesimpacts how many dirs you can watch across all watched roots.
/proc/sys/fs/inotify/max_queued_eventsimpacts how likely it is that your system will experience a notification overflow.
You obviously need to ensure that
are set so that the system is capable of keeping track of your files.
max_queued_events is important to size correctly; if it is too small, the
kernel will drop events and watchman won't be able to report on them. Making
this value bigger reduces the risk of this happening.
Watchman has two simple strategies for mitigating an overflow of
- It uses a dedicated thread to consume kernel events as quickly as possible
- When the kernel reports an overflow, watchman will assume that all the files have been modified and will re-crawl the directory tree as though it had just started watching the dir.
This means that if an overflow does occur, you won't miss a legitimate change notification, but instead will get spurious notifications for files that haven't actually changed.
Mac OS File Descriptor Limits
Only applicable on macOS 10.6 and earlier
The default per-process descriptor limit on macOS is extremely low (256!).
Watchman will attempt to raise its descriptor limit to match
kern.maxfilesperproc when it starts up, so you shouldn't need to mess with
ulimit; just raising the sysctl should do the trick.
The following will raise the limits to allow 10 million files total, with 1 million files per process until your next reboot.
$ sudo sysctl -w kern.maxfiles=10485760$ sudo sysctl -w kern.maxfilesperproc=1048576
Putting the following into a file named
/etc/sysctl.conf on macOS will cause
these values to persist across reboots: