[arch-dev-public] Replacing FAM with native inotify or gamin?

Jan de Groot jan at jgc.homeip.net
Fri Jul 15 04:20:47 EDT 2011

Looking at our fam package, I see pkgrel=15, 4 patches and no upstream
development. One of these patches even implements the use of DNotify,
which is a limited deprecated kernel API also.

I would suggest to drop FAM support where inotify is available. This
means that samba and gnome-vfs should drop FAM support. For other uses,
like courier-imap that uses fam/gamin for IMAP IDLE support, I would
suggest replacing fam with gamin. Snd seems to use fam for file
information updates, so if we want to keep this functionality, it should
depend on gamin also.

Deprecating fam like this means we'll lose one functionality: remote
monitoring of files on NFS shares. This is the main reason why I have
always objected against replacing fam with gamin. Gamin emulates this
behaviour by using polling. Inotify doesn't support it AFAIK.

The reason why I'm bringing this up is because at this moment FAM is
only a dependency of very few remaining packages. For each of these
packages, I doubt NFS fam support is a critical feature:
- samba: I see no reason to export NFS shares trough samba on a
different box
- gnome-vfs: deprecated by itself. We don't ship fam support in GIO
either, never done it, so nobody uses it on a desktop
- courier-imap: serving mail from NFS has always been discouraged

More information about the arch-dev-public mailing list