gam_server ruining your IO throughput? Context switches hitting 8,000 a second?

This hit me today.

The “gam_server” process. Set to identify when any file in the system is changed. A useful action that has benefits. But not when it does it 3-5 times per second and the sever is serving NFS and PostgreSQL!

To fix it, just ensure that somewhere in /etc/ (RedHat Base) or /etc/gamin/ (Debian Base) has a file called:


Add in one line for each file system type that you have. For example mine is now:


fsset ext3 poll 10

fsset nfs poll 10

fsset xfs poll 10


The daemon will now scan every 10 seconds. Of course for it to do that, make sure to invoke a “kill -s 9” first! 😉