FANOTIFY(7)               (2020-11-01)                FANOTIFY(7)

          fanotify - monitoring filesystem events

          The fanotify API provides notification and interception of
          filesystem events.  Use cases include virus scanning and
          hierarchical storage management.  In the original fanotify
          API, only a limited set of events was supported.  In
          particular, there was no support for create, delete, and
          move events.  The support for those events was added in
          Linux 5.1.  (See inotify(7) for details of an API that did
          notify those events pre Linux 5.1.)

          Additional capabilities compared to the inotify(7) API
          include the ability to monitor all of the objects in a
          mounted filesystem, the ability to make access permission
          decisions, and the possibility to read or modify files
          before access by other applications.

          The following system calls are used with this API:
          fanotify_init(2), fanotify_mark(2), read(2), write(2), and

        fanotify_init(), fanotify_mark(), and notification groups
          The fanotify_init(2) system call creates and initializes an
          fanotify notification group and returns a file descriptor
          referring to it.

          An fanotify notification group is a kernel-internal object
          that holds a list of files, directories, filesystems, and
          mount points for which events shall be created.

          For each entry in an fanotify notification group, two bit
          masks exist: the mark mask and the ignore mask.  The mark
          mask defines file activities for which an event shall be
          created.  The ignore mask defines activities for which no
          event shall be generated.  Having these two types of masks
          permits a filesystem, mount point, or directory to be marked
          for receiving events, while at the same time ignoring events
          for specific objects under a mount point or directory.

          The fanotify_mark(2) system call adds a file, directory,
          filesystem or mount point to a notification group and speci-
          fies which events shall be reported (or ignored), or removes
          or modifies such an entry.

          A possible usage of the ignore mask is for a file cache.
          Events of interest for a file cache are modification of a
          file and closing of the same.  Hence, the cached directory
          or mount point is to be marked to receive these events.

     Page 1                        Linux             (printed 5/21/22)

     FANOTIFY(7)               (2020-11-01)                FANOTIFY(7)

          After receiving the first event informing that a file has
          been modified, the corresponding cache entry will be invali-
          dated.  No further modification events for this file are of
          interest until the file is closed.  Hence, the modify event
          can be added to the ignore mask.  Upon receiving the close
          event, the modify event can be removed from the ignore mask
          and the file cache entry can be updated.

          The entries in the fanotify notification groups refer to
          files and directories via their inode number and to mounts
          via their mount ID.  If files or directories are renamed or
          moved within the same mount, the respective entries survive.
          If files or directories are deleted or moved to another
          mount or if filesystems or mounts are unmounted, the corre-
          sponding entries are deleted.

        The event queue
          As events occur on the filesystem objects monitored by a
          notification group, the fanotify system generates events
          that are collected in a queue.  These events can then be
          read (using read(2) or similar) from the fanotify file
          descriptor returned by fanotify_init(2).

          Two types of events are generated: notification events and
          permission events.  Notification events are merely informa-
          tive and require no action to be taken by the receiving
          application with one exception: if a valid file descriptor
          is provided within a generic event, the file descriptor must
          be closed.  Permission events are requests to the receiving
          application to decide whether permission for a file access
          shall be granted.  For these events, the recipient must
          write a response which decides whether access is granted or

          An event is removed from the event queue of the fanotify
          group when it has been read.  Permission events that have
          been read are kept in an internal list of the fanotify group
          until either a permission decision has been taken by writing
          to the fanotify file descriptor or the fanotify file
          descriptor is closed.

        Reading fanotify events
          Calling read(2) for the file descriptor returned by
          fanotify_init(2) blocks (if the flag FAN_NONBLOCK is not
          specified in the call to fanotify_init(2)) until either a
          file event occurs or the call is interrupted by a signal
          (see signal(7)).

          The use of one of the flags FAN_REPORT_FID,
          FAN_REPORT_DIR_FID in fanotify_init(2) influences what data
          structures are returned to the event listener for each
          event.  Events reported to a group initialized with one of

     Page 2                        Linux             (printed 5/21/22)

     FANOTIFY(7)               (2020-11-01)                FANOTIFY(7)

          these flags will use file handles to identify filesystem
          objects instead of file descriptors.

          After a successful
               read(2), the read buffer contains one or more of the
               following structures:

              struct fanotify_event_metadata {
                  __u32 event_len;
                  __u8 vers;
                  __u8 reserved;
                  __u16 metadata_len;
                  __aligned_u64 mask;
                  __s32 fd;
                  __s32 pid;

          In case of an fanotify group that identifies filesystem
          objects by file handles, you should also expect to receive
          one or more additional information records of the structure
          detailed below following the generic fanotify_event_metadata
          structure within the read buffer:

              struct fanotify_event_info_header {
                  __u8 info_type;
                  __u8 pad;
                  __u16 len;

              struct fanotify_event_info_fid {
                  struct fanotify_event_info_header hdr;
                  __kernel_fsid_t fsid;
                  unsigned char file_handle[0];

          For performance reasons, it is recommended to use a large
          buffer size (for example, 4096 bytes), so that multiple
          events can be retrieved by a single read(2).

          The return value of read(2) is the number of bytes placed in
          the buffer, or -1 in case of an error (but see BUGS).

          The fields of the fanotify_event_metadata structure are as

               This is the length of the data for the current event
               and the offset to the next event in the buffer.  Unless
               the group identifies filesystem objects by file han-
               dles, the value of event_len is always
               FAN_EVENT_METADATA_LEN.  For a group that identifies
               filesystem objects by file handles, event_len also

     Page 3                        Linux             (printed 5/21/22)

     FANOTIFY(7)               (2020-11-01)                FANOTIFY(7)

               includes the variable length file identifier records.

          vers This field holds a version number for the structure.
               It must be compared to FANOTIFY_METADATA_VERSION to
               verify that the structures returned at run time match
               the structures defined at compile time.  In case of a
               mismatch, the application should abandon trying to use
               the fanotify file descriptor.

               This field is not used.

               This is the length of the structure.  The field was
               introduced to facilitate the implementation of optional
               headers per event type.  No such optional headers exist
               in the current implementation.

          mask This is a bit mask describing the event (see below).

          fd   This is an open file descriptor for the object being
               accessed, or FAN_NOFD if a queue overflow occurred.
               With an fanotify group that identifies filesystem
               objects by file handles, applications should expect
               this value to be set to FAN_NOFD for each event that is
               received.  The file descriptor can be used to access
               the contents of the monitored file or directory.  The
               reading application is responsible for closing this
               file descriptor.

               When calling fanotify_init(2), the caller may specify
               (via the event_f_flags argument) various file status
               flags that are to be set on the open file description
               that corresponds to this file descriptor.  In addition,
               the (kernel-internal) FMODE_NONOTIFY file status flag
               is set on the open file description.  This flag sup-
               presses fanotify event generation.  Hence, when the
               receiver of the fanotify event accesses the notified
               file or directory using this file descriptor, no addi-
               tional events will be created.

          pid  If flag FAN_REPORT_TID was set in fanotify_init(2),
               this is the TID of the thread that caused the event.
               Otherwise, this the PID of the process that caused the

          A program listening to fanotify events can compare this PID
          to the PID returned by getpid(2), to determine whether the
          event is caused by the listener itself, or is due to a file
          access by another process.

          The bit mask in mask indicates which events have occurred

     Page 4                        Linux             (printed 5/21/22)

     FANOTIFY(7)               (2020-11-01)                FANOTIFY(7)

          for a single filesystem object.  Multiple bits may be set in
          this mask, if more than one event occurred for the monitored
          filesystem object.  In particular, consecutive events for
          the same filesystem object and originating from the same
          process may be merged into a single event, with the excep-
          tion that two permission events are never merged into one
          queue entry.

          The bits that may appear in mask are as follows:

               A file or a directory (but see BUGS) was accessed

               A file or a directory was opened.

               A file was opened with the intent to be executed.  See
               NOTES in fanotify_mark(2) for additional details.

               A file or directory metadata was changed.

               A child file or directory was created in a watched par-

               A child file or directory was deleted in a watched par-

               A watched file or directory was deleted.

               A file or directory has been moved from a watched par-
               ent directory.

               A file or directory has been moved to a watched parent

               A watched file or directory was moved.

               A file was modified.

               A file that was opened for writing (O_WRONLY or O_RDWR)
               was closed.

     Page 5                        Linux             (printed 5/21/22)

     FANOTIFY(7)               (2020-11-01)                FANOTIFY(7)

               A file or directory that was opened read-only
               (O_RDONLY) was closed.

               The event queue exceeded the limit of 16384 entries.
               This limit can be overridden by specifying the
               FAN_UNLIMITED_QUEUE flag when calling fanotify_init(2).

               An application wants to read a file or directory, for
               example using read(2) or readdir(2).  The reader must
               write a response (as described below) that determines
               whether the permission to access the filesystem object
               shall be granted.

               An application wants to open a file or directory.  The
               reader must write a response that determines whether
               the permission to open the filesystem object shall be

               An application wants to open a file for execution.  The
               reader must write a response that determines whether
               the permission to open the filesystem object for execu-
               tion shall be granted.  See NOTES in fanotify_mark(2)
               for additional details.

          To check for any close event, the following bit mask may be

               A file was closed.  This is a synonym for:


          To check for any move event, the following bit mask may be

               A file or directory was moved.  This is a synonym for:

                   FAN_MOVED_FROM | FAN_MOVED_TO

          The following bits may appear in mask only in conjunction
          with other event type bits:

               The events described in the mask have occurred on a
               directory object.  Reporting events on directories
               requires setting this flag in the mark mask.  See

     Page 6                        Linux             (printed 5/21/22)

     FANOTIFY(7)               (2020-11-01)                FANOTIFY(7)

               fanotify_mark(2) for additional details.  The FAN_ONDIR
               flag is reported in an event mask only if the fanotify
               group identifies filesystem objects by file handles.

          The fields of the fanotify_event_info_fid structure are as

          hdr  This is a structure of type fanotify_event_info_header.
               It is a generic header that contains information used
               to describe an additional information record attached
               to the event.  For example, when an fanotify file
               descriptor is created using FAN_REPORT_FID, a single
               information record is expected to be attached to the
               event with info_type field value of
               FAN_EVENT_INFO_TYPE_FID.  When an fanotify file
               descriptor is created using the combination of
               FAN_REPORT_FID and FAN_REPORT_DIR_FID, there may be two
               information records attached to the event: one with
               info_type field value of FAN_EVENT_INFO_TYPE_DFID,
               identifying a parent directory object, and one with
               info_type field value of FAN_EVENT_INFO_TYPE_FID, iden-
               tifying a non-directory object.  The
               fanotify_event_info_header contains a len field.  The
               value of len is the size of the additional information
               record including the fanotify_event_info_header itself.
               The total size of all additional information records is
               not expected to be bigger than ( event_len -
               metadata_len ).

          fsid This is a unique identifier of the filesystem contain-
               ing the object associated with the event.  It is a
               structure of type __kernel_fsid_t and contains the same
               value as f_fsid when calling statfs(2).

               This is a variable length structure of type struct
               file_handle.  It is an opaque handle that corresponds
               to a specified object on a filesystem as returned by
               name_to_handle_at(2).  It can be used to uniquely iden-
               tify a file on a filesystem and can be passed as an
               argument to open_by_handle_at(2).  Note that for the
               directory entry modification events FAN_CREATE,
               FAN_DELETE, and FAN_MOVE, the file_handle identifies
               the modified directory and not the
               created/deleted/moved child object.  If the value of
               info_type field is FAN_EVENT_INFO_TYPE_DFID_NAME, the
               file handle is followed by a null terminated string
               that identifies the created/deleted/moved directory
               entry name.  For other events such as FAN_OPEN,
               FAN_ATTRIB, FAN_DELETE_SELF, and FAN_MOVE_SELF, if the
               value of info_type field is FAN_EVENT_INFO_TYPE_FID,
               the file_handle identifies the object correlated to the

     Page 7                        Linux             (printed 5/21/22)

     FANOTIFY(7)               (2020-11-01)                FANOTIFY(7)

               event.  If the value of info_type field is
               FAN_EVENT_INFO_TYPE_DFID, the file_handle identifies
               the directory object correlated to the event or the
               parent directory of a non-directory object correlated
               to the event.  If the value of info_type field is
               FAN_EVENT_INFO_TYPE_DFID_NAME, the file_handle identi-
               fies the same directory object that would be reported
               with FAN_EVENT_INFO_TYPE_DFID and the file handle is
               followed by a null terminated string that identifies
               the name of a directory entry in that directory, or '.'
               to identify the directory object itself.

          The following macros are provided to iterate over a buffer
          containing fanotify event metadata returned by a read(2)
          from an fanotify file descriptor:

          FAN_EVENT_OK(meta, len)
               This macro checks the remaining length len of the
               buffer meta against the length of the metadata struc-
               ture and the event_len field of the first metadata
               structure in the buffer.

          FAN_EVENT_NEXT(meta, len)
               This macro uses the length indicated in the event_len
               field of the metadata structure pointed to by meta to
               calculate the address of the next metadata structure
               that follows meta. len is the number of bytes of meta-
               data that currently remain in the buffer.  The macro
               returns a pointer to the next metadata structure that
               follows meta, and reduces len by the number of bytes in
               the metadata structure that has been skipped over
               (i.e., it subtracts meta->event_len from len).

          In addition, there is:

               This macro returns the size (in bytes) of the structure
               fanotify_event_metadata. This is the minimum size (and
               currently the only size) of any event metadata.

        Monitoring an fanotify file descriptor for
          When an fanotify event occurs, the fanotify file descriptor
          indicates as readable when passed to epoll(7), poll(2), or

        Dealing with permission events
          For permission events, the application must write(2) a
          structure of the following form to the fanotify file

              struct fanotify_response {
                  __s32 fd;

     Page 8                        Linux             (printed 5/21/22)

     FANOTIFY(7)               (2020-11-01)                FANOTIFY(7)

                  __u32 response;

          The fields of this structure are as follows:

          fd   This is the file descriptor from the structure

               This field indicates whether or not the permission is
               to be granted.  Its value must be either FAN_ALLOW to
               allow the file operation or FAN_DENY to deny the file

          If access is denied, the requesting application call will
          receive an EPERM error.

        Closing the fanotify file descriptor
          When all file descriptors referring to the fanotify notifi-
          cation group are closed, the fanotify group is released and
          its resources are freed for reuse by the kernel.  Upon
          close(2), outstanding permission events will be set to

          The file /proc/[pid]/fdinfo/[fd] contains information about
          fanotify marks for file descriptor fd of process pid. See
          proc(5) for details.

          In addition to the usual errors for read(2), the following
          errors can occur when reading from the fanotify file

               The buffer is too small to hold the event.

               The per-process limit on the number of open files has
               been reached.  See the description of RLIMIT_NOFILE in

               The system-wide limit on the total number of open files
               has been reached.  See /proc/sys/fs/file-max in

               This error is returned by read(2) if O_RDWR or O_WRONLY
               was specified in the event_f_flags argument when call-
               ing fanotify_init(2) and an event occurred for a moni-
               tored file that is currently being executed.

     Page 9                        Linux             (printed 5/21/22)

     FANOTIFY(7)               (2020-11-01)                FANOTIFY(7)

          In addition to the usual errors for write(2), the following
          errors can occur when writing to the fanotify file descrip-

               Fanotify access permissions are not enabled in the ker-
               nel configuration or the value of response in the
               response structure is not valid.

               The file descriptor fd in the response structure is not
               valid.  This may occur when a response for the permis-
               sion event has already been written.

          The fanotify API was introduced in version 2.6.36 of the
          Linux kernel and enabled in version 2.6.37.  Fdinfo support
          was added in version 3.8.

          The fanotify API is Linux-specific.

          The fanotify API is available only if the kernel was built
          with the CONFIG_FANOTIFY configuration option enabled.  In
          addition, fanotify permission handling is available only if
          the CONFIG_FANOTIFY_ACCESS_PERMISSIONS configuration option
          is enabled.

        Limitations and caveats
          Fanotify reports only events that a user-space program trig-
          gers through the filesystem API.  As a result, it does not
          catch remote events that occur on network filesystems.

          The fanotify API does not report file accesses and modifica-
          tions that may occur because of mmap(2), msync(2), and

          Events for directories are created only if the directory
          itself is opened, read, and closed.  Adding, removing, or
          changing children of a marked directory does not create
          events for the monitored directory itself.

          Fanotify monitoring of directories is not recursive: to mon-
          itor subdirectories under a directory, additional marks must
          be created.  The FAN_CREATE event can be used for detecting
          when a subdirectory has been created under a marked direc-
          tory.  An additional mark must then be set on the newly cre-
          ated subdirectory.  This approach is racy, because it can
          lose events that occurred inside the newly created subdirec-
          tory, before a mark is added on that subdirectory.  Monitor-
          ing mounts offers the capability to monitor a whole

     Page 10                       Linux             (printed 5/21/22)

     FANOTIFY(7)               (2020-11-01)                FANOTIFY(7)

          directory tree in a race-free manner.  Monitoring filesys-
          tems offers the capability to monitor changes made from any
          mount of a filesystem instance in a race-free manner.

          The event queue can overflow.  In this case, events are

          Before Linux 3.19, fallocate(2) did not generate fanotify
          events.  Since Linux 3.19, calls to fallocate(2) generate
          FAN_MODIFY events.

          As of Linux 3.17, the following bugs exist:

          *  On Linux, a filesystem object may be accessible through
             multiple paths, for example, a part of a filesystem may
             be remounted using the --bind option of mount(8).  A lis-
             tener that marked a mount will be notified only of events
             that were triggered for a filesystem object using the
             same mount.  Any other event will pass unnoticed.

          *  When an event is generated, no check is made to see
             whether the user ID of the receiving process has autho-
             rization to read or write the file before passing a file
             descriptor for that file.  This poses a security risk,
             when the CAP_SYS_ADMIN capability is set for programs
             executed by unprivileged users.

          *  If a call to read(2) processes multiple events from the
             fanotify queue and an error occurs, the return value will
             be the total length of the events successfully copied to
             the user-space buffer before the error occurred.  The
             return value will not be -1, and errno will not be set.
             Thus, the reading application has no way to detect the

          The two example programs below demonstrate the usage of the
          fanotify API.

        Example program: fanotify_example.c
          The first program is an example of fanotify being used with
          its event object information passed in the form of a file
          descriptor.  The program marks the mount point passed as a
          command-line argument and waits for events of type
          FAN_OPEN_PERM and FAN_CLOSE_WRITE.  When a permission event
          occurs, a FAN_ALLOW response is given.

          The following shell session shows an example of running this
          program.  This session involved editing the file
          /home/user/temp/notes. Before the file was opened, a
          FAN_OPEN_PERM event occurred.  After the file was closed, a

     Page 11                       Linux             (printed 5/21/22)

     FANOTIFY(7)               (2020-11-01)                FANOTIFY(7)

          FAN_CLOSE_WRITE event occurred.  Execution of the program
          ends when the user presses the ENTER key.

              # ./fanotify_example /home
              Press enter key to terminate.
              Listening for events.
              FAN_OPEN_PERM: File /home/user/temp/notes
              FAN_CLOSE_WRITE: File /home/user/temp/notes

              Listening for events stopped.

        Program source: fanotify_example.c

          #define _GNU_SOURCE     /* Needed to get O_LARGEFILE definition */
          #include <errno.h>
          #include <fcntl.h>
          #include <limits.h>
          #include <poll.h>
          #include <stdio.h>
          #include <stdlib.h>
          #include <sys/fanotify.h>
          #include <unistd.h>

          /* Read all available fanotify events from the file descriptor aqfdaq */

          static void
          handle_events(int fd)
              const struct fanotify_event_metadata *metadata;
              struct fanotify_event_metadata buf[200];
              ssize_t len;
              char path[PATH_MAX];
              ssize_t path_len;
              char procfd_path[PATH_MAX];
              struct fanotify_response response;

              /* Loop while events can be read from fanotify file descriptor */

              for (;;) {

                  /* Read some events */

                  len = read(fd, buf, sizeof(buf));
                  if (len == -1 && errno != EAGAIN) {

                  /* Check if end of available data reached */

                  if (len <= 0)

     Page 12                       Linux             (printed 5/21/22)

     FANOTIFY(7)               (2020-11-01)                FANOTIFY(7)

                  /* Point to the first event in the buffer */

                  metadata = buf;

                  /* Loop over all events in the buffer */

                  while (FAN_EVENT_OK(metadata, len)) {

                      /* Check that run-time and compile-time structures match */

                      if (metadata->vers != FANOTIFY_METADATA_VERSION) {
                                  "Mismatch of fanotify metadata version.\n");

                      /* metadata->fd contains either FAN_NOFD, indicating a
                         queue overflow, or a file descriptor (a nonnegative
                         integer). Here, we simply ignore queue overflow. */

                      if (metadata->fd >= 0) {

                          /* Handle open permission event */

                          if (metadata->mask & FAN_OPEN_PERM) {
                              printf("FAN_OPEN_PERM: ");

                              /* Allow file to be opened */

                              response.fd = metadata->fd;
                              response.response = FAN_ALLOW;
                              write(fd, &response, sizeof(response));

                          /* Handle closing of writable file event */

                          if (metadata->mask & FAN_CLOSE_WRITE)
                              printf("FAN_CLOSE_WRITE: ");

                          /* Retrieve and print pathname of the accessed file */

                          snprintf(procfd_path, sizeof(procfd_path),
                                   "/proc/self/fd/%d", metadata->fd);
                          path_len = readlink(procfd_path, path,
                                              sizeof(path) - 1);
                          if (path_len == -1) {

                          path[path_len] = aq\0aq;
                          printf("File %s\n", path);

     Page 13                       Linux             (printed 5/21/22)

     FANOTIFY(7)               (2020-11-01)                FANOTIFY(7)

                          /* Close the file descriptor of the event */


                      /* Advance to next event */

                      metadata = FAN_EVENT_NEXT(metadata, len);

          main(int argc, char *argv[])
              char buf;
              int fd, poll_num;
              nfds_t nfds;
              struct pollfd fds[2];

              /* Check mount point is supplied */

              if (argc != 2) {
                  fprintf(stderr, "Usage: %s MOUNT\n", argv[0]);

              printf("Press enter key to terminate.\n");

              /* Create the file descriptor for accessing the fanotify API */

              fd = fanotify_init(FAN_CLOEXEC | FAN_CLASS_CONTENT | FAN_NONBLOCK,
                                 O_RDONLY | O_LARGEFILE);
              if (fd == -1) {

              /* Mark the mount for:
                 - permission events before opening files
                 - notification events after closing a write-enabled
                   file descriptor */

              if (fanotify_mark(fd, FAN_MARK_ADD | FAN_MARK_MOUNT,
                                FAN_OPEN_PERM | FAN_CLOSE_WRITE, AT_FDCWD,
                                argv[1]) == -1) {

              /* Prepare for polling */

     Page 14                       Linux             (printed 5/21/22)

     FANOTIFY(7)               (2020-11-01)                FANOTIFY(7)

              nfds = 2;

              /* Console input */

              fds[0].fd = STDIN_FILENO;
              fds[0].events = POLLIN;

              /* Fanotify input */

              fds[1].fd = fd;
              fds[1].events = POLLIN;

              /* This is the loop to wait for incoming events */

              printf("Listening for events.\n");

              while (1) {
                  poll_num = poll(fds, nfds, -1);
                  if (poll_num == -1) {
                      if (errno == EINTR)     /* Interrupted by a signal */
                          continue;           /* Restart poll() */

                      perror("poll");         /* Unexpected error */

                  if (poll_num > 0) {
                      if (fds[0].revents & POLLIN) {

                          /* Console input is available: empty stdin and quit */

                          while (read(STDIN_FILENO, &buf, 1) > 0 && buf != aq\naq)

                      if (fds[1].revents & POLLIN) {

                          /* Fanotify events are available */


              printf("Listening for events stopped.\n");

        Example program: fanotify_fid.c
          The second program is an example of fanotify being used with
          a group that identifies objects by file handles.  The

     Page 15                       Linux             (printed 5/21/22)

     FANOTIFY(7)               (2020-11-01)                FANOTIFY(7)

          program marks the filesystem object that is passed as a
          command-line argument and waits until an event of type
          FAN_CREATE has occurred.  The event mask indicates which
          type of filesystem object-either a file or a directory-was
          created.  Once all events have been read from the buffer and
          processed accordingly, the program simply terminates.

          The following shell sessions show two different invocations
          of this program, with different actions performed on a
          watched object.

          The first session shows a mark being placed on /home/user.
          This is followed by the creation of a regular file,
          /home/user/testfile.txt. This results in a FAN_CREATE event
          being generated and reported against the file's parent
          watched directory object and with the created file name.
          Program execution ends once all events captured within the
          buffer have been processed.

              # ./fanotify_fid /home/user
              Listening for events.
              FAN_CREATE (file created):
                      Directory /home/user has been modified.
                      Entry aqtestfile.txtaq is not a subdirectory.
              All events processed successfully. Program exiting.

              $ touch /home/user/testfile.txt              # In another terminal

          The second session shows a mark being placed on /home/user.
          This is followed by the creation of a directory,
          /home/user/testdir. This specific action results in a
          FAN_CREATE event being generated and is reported with the
          FAN_ONDIR flag set and with the created directory name.

              # ./fanotify_fid /home/user
              Listening for events.
              FAN_CREATE | FAN_ONDIR (subdirectory created):
                      Directory /home/user has been modified.
                      Entry aqtestdiraq is a subdirectory.
              All events processed successfully. Program exiting.

              $ mkdir -p /home/user/testdir          # In another terminal

        Program source: fanotify_fid.c

          #define _GNU_SOURCE
          #include <errno.h>
          #include <fcntl.h>
          #include <limits.h>
          #include <stdio.h>
          #include <stdlib.h>
          #include <sys/types.h>

     Page 16                       Linux             (printed 5/21/22)

     FANOTIFY(7)               (2020-11-01)                FANOTIFY(7)

          #include <sys/stat.h>
          #include <sys/fanotify.h>
          #include <unistd.h>

          #define BUF_SIZE 256

          main(int argc, char **argv)
              int fd, ret, event_fd, mount_fd;
              ssize_t len, path_len;
              char path[PATH_MAX];
              char procfd_path[PATH_MAX];
              char events_buf[BUF_SIZE];
              struct file_handle *file_handle;
              struct fanotify_event_metadata *metadata;
              struct fanotify_event_info_fid *fid;
              const char *file_name;
              struct stat sb;

              if (argc != 2) {
                  fprintf(stderr, "Invalid number of command line arguments.\n");

              mount_fd = open(argv[1], O_DIRECTORY | O_RDONLY);
              if (mount_fd == -1) {

              /* Create an fanotify file descriptor with FAN_REPORT_DFID_NAME as
                 a flag so that program can receive fid events with directory
                 entry name. */

              fd = fanotify_init(FAN_CLASS_NOTIF | FAN_REPORT_DFID_NAME, 0);
              if (fd == -1) {

              /* Place a mark on the filesystem object supplied in argv[1]. */

              ret = fanotify_mark(fd, FAN_MARK_ADD | FAN_MARK_ONLYDIR,
                                  FAN_CREATE | FAN_ONDIR,
                                  AT_FDCWD, argv[1]);
              if (ret == -1) {

     Page 17                       Linux             (printed 5/21/22)

     FANOTIFY(7)               (2020-11-01)                FANOTIFY(7)

              printf("Listening for events.\n");

              /* Read events from the event queue into a buffer */

              len = read(fd, events_buf, sizeof(events_buf));
              if (len == -1 && errno != EAGAIN) {

              /* Process all events within the buffer */

              for (metadata = (struct fanotify_event_metadata *) events_buf;
                      FAN_EVENT_OK(metadata, len);
                      metadata = FAN_EVENT_NEXT(metadata, len)) {
                  fid = (struct fanotify_event_info_fid *) (metadata + 1);
                  file_handle = (struct file_handle *) fid->handle;

                  /* Ensure that the event info is of the correct type */

                  if (fid->hdr.info_type == FAN_EVENT_INFO_TYPE_FID ||
                      fid->hdr.info_type == FAN_EVENT_INFO_TYPE_DFID) {
                      file_name = NULL;
                  } else if (fid->hdr.info_type == FAN_EVENT_INFO_TYPE_DFID_NAME) {
                      file_name = file_handle->f_handle +
                  } else {
                      fprintf(stderr, "Received unexpected event info type.\n");

                  if (metadata->mask == FAN_CREATE)
                      printf("FAN_CREATE (file created):\n");

                  if (metadata->mask == (FAN_CREATE | FAN_ONDIR))
                      printf("FAN_CREATE | FAN_ONDIR (subdirectory created):\n");

               /* metadata->fd is set to FAN_NOFD when the group identifies
                  objects by file handles.  To obtain a file descriptor for
                  the file object corresponding to an event you can use the
                  struct file_handle thataqs provided within the
                  fanotify_event_info_fid in conjunction with the
                  open_by_handle_at(2) system call.  A check for ESTALE is
                  done to accommodate for the situation where the file handle
                  for the object was deleted prior to this system call. */

                  event_fd = open_by_handle_at(mount_fd, file_handle, O_RDONLY);
                  if (event_fd == -1) {
                      if (errno == ESTALE) {
                          printf("File handle is no longer valid. "
                                  "File has been deleted\n");

     Page 18                       Linux             (printed 5/21/22)

     FANOTIFY(7)               (2020-11-01)                FANOTIFY(7)

                      } else {

                  snprintf(procfd_path, sizeof(procfd_path), "/proc/self/fd/%d",

                  /* Retrieve and print the path of the modified dentry */

                  path_len = readlink(procfd_path, path, sizeof(path) - 1);
                  if (path_len == -1) {

                  path[path_len] = aq\0aq;
                  printf("\tDirectory aq%saq has been modified.\n", path);

                  if (file_name) {
                      ret = fstatat(event_fd, file_name, &sb, 0);
                      if (ret == -1) {
                          if (errno != ENOENT) {
                          printf("\tEntry aq%saq does not exist.\n", file_name);
                      } else if ((sb.st_mode & S_IFMT) == S_IFDIR) {
                          printf("\tEntry aq%saq is a subdirectory.\n", file_name);
                      } else {
                          printf("\tEntry aq%saq is not a subdirectory.\n",

                  /* Close associated file descriptor for this event */


              printf("All events processed successfully. Program exiting.\n");

          fanotify_init(2), fanotify_mark(2), inotify(7)

          This page is part of release 5.10 of the Linux man-pages
          project.  A description of the project, information about
          reporting bugs, and the latest version of this page, can be

     Page 19                       Linux             (printed 5/21/22)

     FANOTIFY(7)               (2020-11-01)                FANOTIFY(7)

          found at

     Page 20                       Linux             (printed 5/21/22)