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µEv | Simple event loop for Linux

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NOTE: Incompatible failure mode changes in v2.0 compared to v1.x!


libuEv is a small event loop that wraps the Linux epoll() family of APIs. It is similar to the more established libevent, libev and the venerable Xt(3) event loop. The µ in the name refers to both its limited feature set and the size impact of the library.

Failure mode changes introduced in v2.0 may affect users of v1.x, See the ChangeLog for the full details.

The API documentation is available as a separate document.


Notice how watcher conditions like UEV_ERROR must be handled by each callback. I/O watchers must also check for UEV_HUP. Both errors are usually fatal, libuEv makes sure to stop each watcher before a callback runs, leaving it up to the callback to take appropriate action.

/* Set up a timer watcher to call cb() every other second */
#include <stdio.h>
#include <uev/uev.h>

static void cb(uev_t *w, void *arg, int events)
        if (UEV_ERROR == events) {
            puts("Problem with timer, attempting to restart.");

        puts("Every other second");

int main(void)
        uev_ctx_t ctx;
        uev_t timer;

        uev_timer_init(&ctx, &timer, cb, NULL, 2 * 1000, 2 * 1000);

        return uev_run(&ctx, 0);

Build & Install

libuEv use the GNU configure and build system. To try out the bundled examples, use the --enable-examples switch to the configure script. There is also a limited unit test suite that can be useful to learn how the library works.

make -j5
make check
sudo make install-strip
sudo ldconfig

The resulting .so library is ~23 kiB.

To build from GIT sources; clone the repository and run the script. This requires GNU automake, autoconf amd libtool to be installed on your system. (If you build from a released tarball you do not need them.)

Origin & References

libuEv is developed and maintained by Joachim Wiberg on GitHub. It is primarily built for and developed on GNU/Linux systems, patches to support the BSD kqueue interface are most welcome.

Originally based on LibUEvent by Flemming Madsen, uEv has since evolved to support all of the Linux epoll() family APIs. It is now more similar to the excellent libev by Mark Lehmann, with some inspiration also from picoev by Oku Kazuho.