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How to install Watchman on Debian

To globally install Watchman on Debian:

sudo apt-get install build-essential
sudo apt-get install python-dev
sudo apt-get install automake
sudo apt-get install autoconf
sudo apt-get install libtool

cd /tmp
git clone
cd watchman
git checkout v4.7.0  # or whatever is now the latest stable release

./configure --enable-statedir=/tmp
sudo make
sudo make install
sudo mv watchman /usr/local/bin/watchman

Please note that the --enable-statedir option must be set on Debian systems to prevent Watchman startup failures due to non-existing default location /usr/local/var/run/watchman.

To make sure things went well:

cd ~
which watchman
# should display `/usr/local/bin/watchman`

watchman -v
# should display the installed version e.g. `4.7.0`

watchman watch .
# should display something similar to:
# {
#    "version": "4.7.0",
#    "watch": "/home/vagrant",
#    "watcher": "inotify"
# }

watchman watch-del-all
watchman shutdown-server

Closing notes:

  • Watchman state can be found in /tmp/<username>-state/
  • Ember users should no longer see annoying Watchman related messages