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SmartGit's file monitor watches the folders of your Git repositories for file changes, and updates all affected views automatically so you don't have to refresh them by hand. On Linux, the number of folders that can be watched simultaneously is limited by a system-wide variable.

This means if you open a Git repository in SmartGit, and this repository contains more subfolders than is allowed by the system-wide limit, the file monitor may stop working. If that happens, you'll need to raise the watch limit. This can be done as follows: For example, to raise the watch limit to 100K watches, log in as root (described below) and insert the following line into the file /etc/sysctl.conf:

		fs.inotify.max_user_watches = 102400

For this change to take effect, either reboot the system or execute the command /sbin/sysctl -p.


To understand implications of increasing the limit, have a look at

In order to obtain root privileges, enter su, followed by the root password. On some systems, you may have to "unlock" the root account the first time. To do so, enter sudo su instead.

Reducing the number of inotify watches used by SmartGit

Sometimes it's not possible to increase fs.inotify.max_user_watches. In this case, you may try to reduce the number of watches required by SmartGit:

  • SmartGit will always monitor the currently open repositories; this holds true for the main window as well as for the Log. There is no way to reduce handles here except of reducing the repository size, e.g. by ignoring large untracked subtrees of your repository
  • If you have selected Detect local changes in closed 'favorite' repositories (Preferences, section Background Commands), all your favorite repositories will be monitored. Deselecting this option usually helps to significantly reduce required watches.