file(1) event signalling that a file has changed




The file event is generated by the upstart-file-bridge(8) daemon when a file whose details match the file event condition and environment specified in a job's start on or stop on stanza is modified.

The FILE and EVENT environment variables will be set to the same values as specified by the job. Note that if the job did not specify EVENT this will still be set to one of create, modify or delete depending on what type of file event caused the event to be emitted.

If the job specified a glob pattern in the file part of the FILE environment variable, the event will contain the MATCH environment variable which will be set to the full path of the file that matched the pattern in FILE.


  • When specifying a path that contains spaces, ensure that the path is quoted.
  • FILE values specified by jobs are not canonicalised; this cannot be done reliably as they may not exist so cannot be fully resolved.
  • If you wish to match on MATCH, ensure that FILE does not contain multiple consecutive runs of slashes since otherwise your job will find it difficult to perform such a match.


start on file FILE=/run/ EVENT=create
Event emitted when file is created.
start on file FILE=/run/
Event emitted when file is created, modified or deleted.
start on file FILE=/var/log/
Event emitted when files within a directory are created, modified or deleted.
start on file FILE=/var/crash/*.crash EVENT=create
Event emitted when files that match a glob pattern are created in the indicated directory.
start on file FILE="/this/path/contains whitespace.txt"
Specify a file that contains a space character.


Written by James Hunt <[email protected]>


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