gaze Build Status

A globbing wrapper built from the best parts of other fine watch libs.
Compatible with Node.js 0.10/0.8, Windows, OSX and Linux.



Install the module with: npm install gaze or place into your package.json and run npm install.

var gaze = require('gaze');

// Watch all .js files/dirs in process.cwd()
gaze('/.js', function(err, watcher) {
  // Files have all started watching
  // watcher === this

  // Get all watched files

  // On file changed
  this.on('changed', function(filepath) {
    console.log(filepath + ' was changed');

  // On file added
  this.on('added', function(filepath) {
    console.log(filepath + ' was added');

  // On file deleted
  this.on('deleted', function(filepath) {
    console.log(filepath + ' was deleted');

  // On changed/added/deleted
  this.on('all', function(event, filepath) {
    console.log(filepath + ' was ' + event);

  // Get watched files with relative paths

// Also accepts an array of patterns
gaze(['stylesheets/.css', 'images//.png'], function() {
  // Add more patterns later to be watched

Alternate Interface

var Gaze = require('gaze').Gaze;

var gaze = new Gaze('*/');

// Files have all started watching
gaze.on('ready', function(watcher) { });

// A file has been added/changed/deleted has occurred
gaze.on('all', function(event, filepath) { });


gaze('*/', function() {
  this.on('error', function(err) {
    // Handle error here

Minimatch / Glob

See isaacs's minimatch for more information on glob patterns.


gaze(patterns, [options], callback)

  • patterns {String|Array} File patterns to be matched
  • options {Object}
  • callback {Function}
    • err {Error | null}
    • watcher {Object} Instance of the Gaze watcher

Class: gaze.Gaze

Create a Gaze object by instanting the gaze.Gaze class.

var Gaze = require('gaze').Gaze;
var gaze = new Gaze(pattern, options, callback);


  • options The options object passed in.
    • interval {integer} Interval to pass to fs.watchFile
    • debounceDelay {integer} Delay for events called in succession for the same file/event


  • ready(watcher) When files have been globbed and watching has begun.
  • all(event, filepath) When an added, changed or deleted event occurs.
  • added(filepath) When a file has been added to a watch directory.
  • changed(filepath) When a file has been changed.
  • deleted(filepath) When a file has been deleted.
  • renamed(newPath, oldPath) When a file has been renamed.
  • end() When the watcher is closed and watches have been removed.
  • error(err) When an error occurs.


  • emit(event, [...]) Wrapper for the EventEmitter.emit. added|changed|deleted events will also trigger the all event.
  • close() Unwatch all files and reset the watch instance.
  • add(patterns, callback) Adds file(s) patterns to be watched.
  • remove(filepath) removes a file or directory from being watched. Does not recurse directories.
  • watched() Returns the currently watched files.
  • relative([dir, unixify]) Returns the currently watched files with relative paths.
    • dir {string} Only return relative files for this directory.
    • unixify {boolean} Return paths with / instead of \\ if on Windows.


Why Another Wrapper?

I liked parts of other wrappers but none had all the features I needed. This lib combines the features I needed from other fine watch libs: Speedy data behavior from paulmillr's chokidar, API interface from mikeal's watch and file globbing using isaacs's glob which is also used by cowboy's Grunt.

How do I fix the error EMFILE: Too many opened files.?

This is because of your system's max opened file limit. For OSX the default is very low (256). Increase your limit temporarily with ulimit -n 10480, the number being the new max limit.


In lieu of a formal styleguide, take care to maintain the existing coding style. Add unit tests for any new or changed functionality. Lint and test your code using grunt.

Release History

  • 0.4.3 - Track file additions in newly created folders (@brett-shwom).
  • 0.4.2 - Fix .remove() method to remove a single file in a directory (@kaelzhang). Fixing Cannot call method 'call' of undefined (@krasimir). Track new file additions within folders (@brett-shwom).
  • 0.4.1 - Fix watchDir not respecting close in race condition (@chrisirhc).
  • 0.4.0 - Drop support for node v0.6. Use globule for file matching. Avoid node v0.10 path.resolve/join errors. Register new files when added to non-existent folder. Multiple instances can now poll the same files (@jpommerening).
  • 0.3.4 - Code clean up. Fix path must be strings errors (@groner). Fix incorrect added events (@groner).
  • 0.3.3 - Fix for multiple patterns with negate.
  • 0.3.2 - Emit end before removeAllListeners.
  • 0.3.1 - Fix added events within subfolder patterns.
  • 0.3.0 - Handle safewrite events, forceWatchMethod option removed, bug fixes and watch optimizations (@rgaskill).
  • 0.2.2 - Fix issue where subsequent add calls dont get watched (@samcday). removeAllListeners on close.
  • 0.2.1 - Fix issue with invalid added events in current working dir.
  • 0.2.0 - Support and mark folders with path.sep. Add forceWatchMethod option. Support renamed events.
  • 0.1.6 - Recognize the cwd option properly
  • 0.1.5 - Catch too many open file errors
  • 0.1.4 - Really fix the race condition with 2 watches
  • 0.1.3 - Fix race condition with 2 watches
  • 0.1.2 - Read triggering changed event fix
  • 0.1.1 - Minor fixes
  • 0.1.0 - Initial release


Copyright (c) 2013 Kyle Robinson Young
Licensed under the MIT license.