ekino open source


This project is a naive port of one ruby gem listen.

The aim of this project is to solve an issue about file change detections inside a virtual machine, such Virtual Box handled by a Vagrant Box.

If you are using a solution like gulp or grunt, they both provide a solution to watch files for change and start tasks. However, the watch feature doesn't work well inside a virtual machine:

  • shared folders are slow, so the change detection can take a while depends on the project size (up to 10s).
  • shared folders does not allow to use native FS features to detect file change, so the polling method consumes a lot of resources.

As always, solutions exist: the present one, is to watch files on the host machine and send signals to an internal process inside the guest machine to refresh the code.

golisten installation

  1. Retrieve the valid version for your OS (only OSX has been tested) on https://github.com/ekino/golisten/releases
  2. You need to retrieve the ip address of the bridge (something like:
  3. Start the process golisten with the option -server= flag and the -server-format=gem-listen flag. A typical command will be: ./golisten -path ~/myproject/with/ -server-format="gem-listen" -server=""

gulp integration

  • Make sure you have gulp-util installed
  • Install watch-network module version >=0.1.7
  • Add the watch-network task into your gulpfile.js
  • Run the command gulp watch-network (the golisten server must run on the host machine)

     gulp.task('watch-network', function() {
       var watch = WatchNetwork({
         gulp: gulp,
         host: '',
         port: '4000',
         configs: [{
           tasks: 'build',
           onLoad: true
         }, {
           patterns: ['scripts/*.jsx', 'scripts/*/*.jsx'],
           tasks: 'browserify'
         }, {
           patterns: 'styles/*.scss',
           tasks: 'styles'

If you are using golang, you can also get the binary by running the command go get github.com/ekino/golisten.

all in one

It is possible to start the watcher command and the remote command in one command:

./golisten \
 -path ~/Projects/go/src/github.com/rande/gonodeexplorer \
 -server=""  \
 -server-format="gem-listen"  \
 -parallel-command="vagrant ssh -c \"cd /vagrant/go/src/github.com/rande/gonodeexplorer && gulp watch-network\"" \

Let's explain the options:

  • path: specify the path to listen
  • server: start a TCP server for remote process to listen to local change
  • server-format: send the format using the ruby gem format
  • parallel-command: start a command, the command will be restarted if the process exit.
  • verbose: very verbose output

config file

You can export a configuration into a toml format.

./golisten -p > config.toml

And use this configuration file:

./golisten -c config.toml