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Watch changes in the file system using PHP

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This package allows you to react to all kinds of changes in the file system.

Here's how you can run code when a new file gets added.

use Spatie\Watcher\Watch;

    ->onFileCreated(function (string $newFilePath) {
        // do something...

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You can install the package via composer:

composer require spatie/file-system-watcher

In your project, you should have the JavaScript package chokidar installed. You can install it via npm

npm install chokidar

or Yarn

yarn add chokidar


Here's how you can start watching a directory and get notified of any changes.

use Spatie\Watcher\Watch;

    ->onAnyChange(function (string $type, string $path) {
        if ($type === Watch::EVENT_TYPE_FILE_CREATED) {
            echo "file {$path} was created";

You can pass as many directories as you like to path.

To start watching, call the start method. Note that the start method will never end. Any code after that will not be executed.

To make sure that the watcher keeps watching in production, monitor the script or command that starts it with something like Supervisord. See Supervisord example configuration below.

Detected the type of change

The $type parameter of the closure you pass to onAnyChange can contain one of these values:

  • Watcher::EVENT_TYPE_FILE_CREATED: a file was created
  • Watcher::EVENT_TYPE_FILE_UPDATED: a file was updated
  • Watcher::EVENT_TYPE_FILE_DELETED: a file was deleted
  • Watcher::EVENT_TYPE_DIRECTORY_CREATED: a directory was created
  • Watcher::EVENT_TYPE_DIRECTORY_DELETED: a directory was deleted

Listening for specific events

To handle file systems events of a certain type, you can make use of dedicated functions. Here's how you would listen for file creations only.

use Spatie\Watcher\Watch;

    ->onFileCreated(function (string $newFilePath) {
        // do something...

These are the related available methods:

  • onFileCreated(): accepts a closure that will get passed the new file path
  • onFileUpdated(): accepts a closure that will get passed the updated file path
  • onFileDeleted(): accepts a closure that will get passed the deleted file path
  • onDirectoryCreated(): accepts a closure that will get passed the created directory path
  • onDirectoryDeleted(): accepts a closure that will get passed the deleted directory path

Watching multiple paths

You can pass multiple paths to the paths method.

use Spatie\Watcher\Watch;

Watch::paths($directory, $anotherDirectory);

Performing multiple tasks

You can call onAnyChange, 'onFileCreated', ... multiple times. All given closures will be performed

use Spatie\Watcher\Watch;

    ->onFileCreated(function (string $newFilePath) {
        // do something on file creation...
    ->onFileCreated(function (string $newFilePath) {
        // do something else on file creation...
    ->onAnyChange(function (string $type, string $path) {
        // do something...
    ->onAnyChange(function (string $type, string $path) {
        // do something else...
    // ...

Stopping the watcher gracefully

By default, the watcher will continue indefinitely when started. To gracefully stop the watcher, you can call shouldContinue and pass it a closure. If the closure returns a falsy value, the watcher will stop. The given closure will be executed every 0.5 second.

use Spatie\Watcher\Watch;

    ->shouldContinue(function () {
        // return true or false
    // ...

Change the speed of watcher

By default, the changes are tracked every 0.5 seconds, however you could change that.

use Spatie\Watcher\Watch;

    ->setIntervalTime(1000000) //unit is microsecond therefore -> 0.1s
    // of your methods

Notice : there is no file watching based on polling going on.


composer test

Supervisord example configuration

Create a new Supervisord configuration to monitor a Laravel artisan command which calls the watcher. While using Supervisord, you must specicfy your Node.js and PHP executables in your command paramater: env PATH="/usr/local/bin" for Node.js, the absolute path to PHP and your project's path.

command=env PATH="/usr/local/bin" /absolute/path/to/php /your/project/artisan watch-for-files


Please see CHANGELOG for more information on what has changed recently.


Please see CONTRIBUTING for details.

Security Vulnerabilities

Please review our security policy on how to report security vulnerabilities.


Parts of this package are inspired by Laravel Octane


The MIT License (MIT). Please see License File for more information.