How to tune inotify to use less memory?

I'm working on an embedded linux system.

I tried to use inotify to monitor changes. But when I tried to monitor a huge numbers of folders (let's say more than 6000 folders), inotify uses a lot of memory (about 25-30MB). As you all know, 25-30MB in embedded system is considered to be large...

My questions are;

  • is this normal?
  • is anyone know how to tune this?
  • any alternative to monitor a huge numbers of folders without adding watch in each folder?


As far as I know a recursive watch is not possible with an unpatched Linux kernel. See also . Maybe fanotify would work for you, but it needs a kernel patch.

Look into using Auditd.

There is also a user space file system called loggedfs, but I couldn't get that to work.

It's inevitable to monitor directories recursively when using inotify. reference:

In order to improve inotify(7) performance(reduce memory usage, maybe), my suggestion is: Whenever you start watching a directory, just focus on types of inotify_event that interest you(as less as possible), you can adjust the mask argument of inotify_add_watch(2) function to achieve this. Setting the mask argument value to IN_ALL_EVENTS to monitor all kinds to inotify_event is sometimes unnecessary.

Hope this helps.

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