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PowerTOP just offered the following suggestion:

Suggestion: Enable the CONFIG_INOTIFY kernel configuration option. This option allows programs to wait for changes in files and directories instead of having to poll for these changes

It it worth pursuing this? How would I do it?

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up vote 8 down vote accepted

Do you have a recent kernel? PowerTOP is checking for an older option that was renamed to CONFIG_INOTIFY_USER, see this bug report. Of course, you should make sure that your kernel has CONFIG_INOTIFY_USER enabled -- if you have a stock kernel you should be fine. If you built your own and are using make menuconfig then look under Filesystems->Inotify Support for Userspace and make sure that is checked.

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CONFIG_INOTIFY is an option you can enable when building a Kernel - it is not an option you can manually enable via (for example) a grub boot option.

Some of the more recent kernels are built with CONFIG_INOTIFY=y - for example, in Maverick.

To see if your particular version of Ubuntu has its kernels built with this option, look here for your distribution & kernel type. Then search for CONFIG_INOTIFY.

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