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I am seeing several seconds delay with the tail command. I found the cause for it has something to do with nfs services. I am using arch linux and yet to find out how to disable all these services

I have searched and had some indication that other tools will not be effected such as cat so what can give equivalent results to tail -f

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3 Answers

up vote 4 down vote accepted

Functionally equivalents to tail -f are

less +F

and where available

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Thanks for telling about less +F. Seems very helpful when used with screen. –  rozcietrzewiacz Sep 30 '11 at 22:18
thank, those are the same results however delay remains. My resolution seems to be to remove nfs –  veccy Sep 30 '11 at 22:37
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Even though using Sed for this is a little over kill but you can try this -

v=`wc -l < filename` && c=`expr $v - 10` && sed -n "$c,\$p" filename

First we compute the number of lines in a file and store it in variable v. Then we add number of lines you want to display from last and store it in another variable c. Last we tell sed to use the value stored in variable as starting point until end of file and print it.

This is only if you don't know the number of lines in a file. If you do then it's pretty straight forward.

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The delay is likely due to buffering of the data.

tail (from the man page) checks for updates every second (changeable with '-s' or '--sleep-interval'), which can cause a perceptible delay.

tailf accesses files without causing a corresponding atime update (access time), which could introduce delays.

And less... as always, less is more!

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