installwatch(1) Track installation of software


installwatch [options] [command]


installwatch is a program that is used in order to track the changes made while installing local software (i.e. "make install"). It monitors the requested command, and produces a log which indicates all created and modified files. By default it outputs to syslog(3) using a priority of "LOG_USER | LOG_INFO". This may be overridden by the use of the -o flag. The log format is as follows:

<return-value> <syscall-name> <argument> #<comment>

Each field is delimited by a "^I" character if logging to syslog(3), or by a tab when logging to a file.


Set this variable to the location that you want installwatch to copy the original version of files which get modified. The directory will be created if it does not exist, assuming that the parent is writable.


These program follow the usual GNU command line syntax, with long options starting with two dashes (`-'). A summary of options is included below.

               -o              --logfile       
Directs that output from the logged command be written to
the filename specified. If the specified file already exists, it will be truncated.
-r --root
Sets the directory under which meta-info and translated files will be stored.
-t --trans
Toggle translation capabilities.
-e --exclude
Sets a comma separated neutral directory list, that won't be concerned by translation or backups.
-d --dbgfile
Specify a debug file.
-v --dbglvl
Sets the debug level to be used.
-h      --help
Show help information.


installwatch does not work with programs which are statically linked with libc. Due to LD_PRELOAD limitations, it does not work with suid programs (this would probably introduce security problems, anyway).

mknod(2) is not monitored.


This manual page was written by Felipe Sateler <[email protected]> for the Debian system (but may be used by others). Original text by Greg Norris <[email protected]>. Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU General Public License, Version 2.

On Debian systems, the complete text of the GNU General Public License can be found in /usr/share/common-licenses/GPL.