AskDefine | Define gamin

Dictionary Definition

gamin n : a homeless child who has been abandoned and roams the streets [syn: street arab, throwaway]

User Contributed Dictionary


French gamin



  1. A street urchin; a homeless boy.

See also




gamin m (gamine f, pl gamins)
  1. kid (child)

Extensive Definition

Gamin, a monitoring system for files and directories, independently implements a subset of FAM, the File Alteration Monitor. Running as a service, it allows for the detection of modifications to a file or directory. gam_server functions as a daemon for Gamin.


The word gamin in French (where it also has a female form gamine) refers to a boy, especially an abandoned and homeless boy who roams the streets; an urchin. The Gamin project built on an earlier project called Marmot (which in French means "child" or "brat").

How it works

Under Linux, Gamin uses inotify or dnotify to monitor filesystem activity. Under FreeBSD, Gamin uses kqueue/kevent as the native FreeBSD kernel event notification mechanism, but in this case kqueue has one major drawback as compared to inotify: inotify is the filename-based monitoring facility and kqueue uses file descriptors for identification of monitored files, so, under FreeBSD, gam_server has to open each file in the monitored directory. This can be an issue when monitoring directories with many files stored, because system could easily reach it's kernel limits on maximum file descriptor count (kern.maxfiles and kern.maxfilesperproc).

External links


Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

Arab, JD, beach bum, beachcomber, beggar, bo, brat, bum, bummer, dogie, elf, enfant terrible, gamine, guttersnipe, hobo, holy terror, homeless waif, idler, imp, juvenile delinquent, landloper, lazzarone, little monkey, loafer, losel, minx, monkey, mudlark, piker, puck, punk, punk kid, ragamuffin, ragman, ragpicker, rounder, ski bum, spoiled brat, stiff, stray, street Arab, street urchin, sundowner, surf bum, swagman, swagsman, tatterdemalion, tennis bum, tramp, turnpiker, urchin, vag, vagabond, vagrant, waif, waifs and strays, wastrel, whippersnapper
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