diff options
authorTobias Klauser <>2009-01-25 19:27:04 +0100
committerTobias Klauser <>2009-01-25 19:27:04 +0100
commit72107d51f93406216ec45dc4a7aeec46036cf659 (patch)
parent7a1d9eb8e5c067d3e7935c8ca3aaf0535ed90661 (diff)
Document the options in the README
2 files changed, 25 insertions, 5 deletions
diff --git a/README b/README
index a4a200a..b38911e 100644
--- a/README
+++ b/README
@@ -8,9 +8,6 @@ versions of the Linux kernel to speed up tailing files in the follow mode (the
listens to special events sent by the kernel through the inotify API to
determine whether a file needs to be reread.
-Currently inotail is not fully compatible to neither POSIX or GNU tail but might
-be in the future.
- Linux kernel 2.6.13 or higher with CONFIG_INOTIFY enabled
@@ -33,6 +30,29 @@ inotail binary to /usr/ and the manpage to /usr/share/man/ respectively type:
$ make prefix=/usr install
+Compatibility & options
+inotail is fully option compatible with current POSIX and GNU tail, though the
+obsolescent options present in previous versions of those are not present (e.g.
+inotail +/-<num>). The following options are present in inotail for
+compatibility reasons (e.g. to use inotail as a tail replacement in scripts) but
+do have no effect on inotail besides emiting a warning:
+-s N, --sleep-interval=N inotail does not need a sleep interval because it's
+ relying on inotify.
+--max-unchanged-stats=N inotail watches the containing directory of the file
+ when following by name (--follow=name or -F). Thus it
+ gets notified when a file gets moved or deleted.
+--pid=PID Watching the writer PID ios not possible, because
+ inotail blocks on the read() call on the inotify fd.
+ In the worst case, the dying process wouldn't cause an
+ inotify event, so inotail would never get back from
+ the read().
+These options are neither documented in the manpage nor the in-program help.
inotail is licensed under the terms of the GNU General Public License version 2
diff --git a/inotail.c b/inotail.c
index 53101a8..55fa532 100644
--- a/inotail.c
+++ b/inotail.c
@@ -783,7 +783,7 @@ int main(int argc, char **argv)
case 's':
/* No sleep interval because we're never sleeping.
* That's the whole point of inotail! */
- fprintf(stderr, "Warning: Option '-s' has no effect in inotail\n");
+ fprintf(stderr, "Warning: Option '-s' has no effect, ignoring\n");
/* Watching the PID is not possible because of the
@@ -792,7 +792,7 @@ int main(int argc, char **argv)
/* inotail (will) watch the containing directory for the
* file being moved or deleted, so there is no need for
* this either */
- fprintf(stderr, "Warning: Option '--%s' has no effect in inotail\n", long_opts[option_idx].name);
+ fprintf(stderr, "Warning: Option '--%s' has no effect, ignoring\n", long_opts[option_idx].name);