Watching updates at the end of a file, with or without the tail utility

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59
votes
6answers
105k views

cat line X to line Y on a huge file

Say I have a huge text file (>2GB) and I just want to cat the lines X to Y (e.g. 57890000 to 57890010). From what I understand I can do this by piping head into tail or viceversa, i.e. head -A /...
154
votes
18answers
87k views

How to have tail -f show colored output

I'd like to be able to tail the output of a server log file that has messages like: INFO SEVERE etc, and if it's SEVERE, show the line in red; if it's INFO, in green. What kind of alias can I ...
52
votes
1answer
11k views

How to do a `tail -f` of log rotated files?

On a long running system I usually have a terminal with $ tail -f /var/log/kern.log or something like this open. But from time to time I have to restart such command because no new messages are ...
21
votes
9answers
41k views

Command to display first few and last few lines of a file

I have a file with many rows, and each row has a timestamp at the starting, like [Thread-3] (21/09/12 06:17:38:672) logged message from code..... So, I frequently check 2 things from this log file. ...
21
votes
3answers
24k views

Piping from grep to awk not working

I am trying to grep the ongoing tail of file log and get the nth word from a line. Example file: $ cat > test.txt <<EOL Beam goes blah John goes hey Beam goes what? John goes forget it Beam ...
12
votes
1answer
902 views

How to do `head` and `tail` on null-delimited input in bash?

find command can output names of files as a null-delimited strings (if -print0 is provided), and xargs can consume them with -0 option turned on. But in between, it's hard to manipulate that ...
91
votes
4answers
6k views

Does tail read the whole file?

If I want to tail a 25 GB textfile, does the tail command read the whole file? Since a file might be scattered on a disk I imagine it has to, but I do not understand such internals well.
22
votes
5answers
15k views

Output file contents while they change

I want to output a file's contents while they change, for example if I have the file foobar and I do: magic_command foobar The current terminal should display the file's contents and wait until, I ...
18
votes
6answers
3k views

Is there a way to make tail -F beep?

Is there a way to make tail -F or less beep (ring the bell in a terminal) when new data comes in (a new line is added to the file). Or is there any other unix utility to do this on a linux or mac.
6
votes
2answers
1k views

Is it possible to follow a command (run repeatedly)? as one would follow a file using tail -f?

I have a script which produces a file 'Detail.out'. I know that the script is completed whenever the file contains a certain number of lines (roughly 21025). So I find myself sitting at the command ...
4
votes
2answers
3k views

Tail -f piped through grep not outputing to file, but outputs to console

I'm using the following command tail -f /mydir/myfile | grep "searchterm" >> outfile Without the -f it works fine, but with the -f, which I need, nothing is written to the file. The ...
45
votes
4answers
98k views

How to monitor only the last n lines of a log file?

I have a growing log file for which I want to display only the last 15 lines. Here is what I know I can do: tail -n 15 -F mylogfile.txt As the log file is filled, tail appends the last lines to the ...
35
votes
8answers
19k views

How to obtain inverse behavior for `tail` and `head`?

Is there a way to head/tail a document and get the reverse output; because you don't know how many lines there are in a document? I.e. I just want to get everything but the first 2 lines of foo.txt ...
30
votes
3answers
34k views

How does the “tail” command's “-f” parameter work?

$ tail -f testfile the command is supposed to show the latest entries in the specified file, in real-time right? But that's not happening. Please correct me, if what I intend it to do is wrong... I ...
17
votes
4answers
4k views

How to do a continous 'wc -l' with gnu texttools?

I know of course that cat logfile.txt | wc -l 120 will tell me the number of lines in a file. Whereas tail -f logfile.txt will show me the new lines that another program writes to logfile.txt. ...
9
votes
4answers
7k views

`tail -f` until text is seen

I've got a CI server with a command-line interface that allows me to remotely kick-off a job (jenkins CI server and the jenkins-cli.jar tool). After I kick the job off I tail -f the log (sorry for ...
4
votes
1answer
1k views

tail -f but suck in content of the file first (aka `cat -f`)

I need to display whole file before tracking it for a new changes, not only the last 10 lines (yep, I know it's not tail conceptually). In other words, something like cat -f would do, if it would ever ...
10
votes
4answers
894 views

What is the easiest way to execute text from tail at the command line?

Sometimes I'm working on a new (ubuntu) box and I type git and am alerted: The program 'git' is currently not installed. You can install it by typing: apt-get install git-core If that happens I ...
6
votes
1answer
2k views

Does less have a feature like tail --follow=name (-F)

The command less can be used to replace tail in tail -f file to provide features like handling binary output and navigating the scrollback: less +F file The + prefix means "pretend I type that ...
14
votes
3answers
5k views

Follow a pipe using less?

Can less follow (by pressing F) a piped input (similarly to a file)? For a file that is being written to, the command less <file> will follow the file when pressing F. But if I have a ...
3
votes
2answers
256 views

How can I monitor a file that fully recreates during its run?

This is a follow-up question of Why are some file changes not shown in tail -f? With the use of capital F: tail -F I can monitor the output of tail -F ~/.mysql_history from the manual: --...
1
vote
2answers
512 views

tail -f equivalent

I am seeing a delay of several seconds 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 ...
21
votes
6answers
20k views

Best way to follow a log and execute a command when some text appears in the log

I have a server log that outputs a specific line of text into its log file when the server is up. I want to execute a command once the server is up, and hence do something like the following: tail -f ...
18
votes
7answers
19k views

grep and tail -f?

Is it possible to do a tail -f (or similar) on a file, and grep it at the same time? I wouldn't mind other commands just looking for that kind of behavior.
10
votes
3answers
1k views

Open a text file and let it update itself

How can I open a text file and let it update itself? Similar to the way top works. I want to open a log file and watch it update itself on the fly. I have just tried: $ tail error.log But just ...
5
votes
2answers
13k views

continuous reading from named pipe (cat or tail -f)

I have configured rsyslog to log certain log events to /dev/xconsole: *.*;cron.!=info;mail.!=info |/dev/xconsole /dev/xconsole is a named pipe (fifo). If I want to see what is being logged, I ...
4
votes
5answers
1k views

Only output most recent 10 (or n) lines of a lengthy command output

I have a command that outputs thousands of lines. I actually need these lines in order to see the progress of the command. But I do not need to see more than the 10 most recent lines. How can I do ...
4
votes
6answers
3k views

Is it possible to “roll” a symlink to a new file without affecting any open file handles?

An application I am developing locally logs it's output to files formatted with the current timestamp such as app-%Y%m%d.log. To make it simple to be able to tail the current's day log in a terminal ...
4
votes
3answers
10k views

How do I tail a log file and keep tailing it when the latest one changes date?

I'm using RHEL 4. The normal tail -F file_name*.log doesn't update when the time flips over to 0000. Here's what I've tried so far from searching the web, both of which try to use nested tail: ...
3
votes
1answer
352 views

POSIX head and tail not feature equivalent

The documentation for POSIX tail's -n option says that The origin for counting shall be 1; that is, -n +1 represents the first line of the file, -n -1 the last. So tail -n 10 (used later on the ...
2
votes
4answers
670 views

How to change color of a character while tailing and tr

I regularly use this command line but I would like to change the color of the "|" to green in the output. Does anyone know how I can accomplish this? tail -f file.log | tr '\001' '|' | grep TEST
11
votes
2answers
384 views

How to start tailing a file that has not been yet created

I use tail to monitor the progress of jobs that I know will write their progress to disk. Almost always, I know which file they will create before they start running (the jobs are dispatched by a ...
4
votes
0answers
83 views

Combing head and tail in a single call via pipe [duplicate]

On a regular basis, I am piping the output of some program to either head or tail. Now, suppose that I want to see the first AND last 10 lines of piped output, such that I could do something like ./...
3
votes
1answer
142 views

Why are some file changes not shown in tail -f?

I tried to follow the mysql history file with: tail -f ~/.mysql_history in another window I entered as the same user: mysql -u someotheruser -p and none of the following commands are shown in my ...
3
votes
2answers
3k views

Using tail to follow daily log file in Bash

I have a task to use a bash script to monitor a couple of log files named with the current day, eg. YYYY-MM-DD.log. (1) I used tail -f to follow the file but unable to deal file rotation. Even if ...
1
vote
1answer
4k views

how do i redirect output from tailf & grep to a file [duplicate]

All I wanted is to grep for specific lines in an ongoing log and re-direct it to some file.. tailf log | grep "some words" Now, I want the above command output to get re-directed to some file in on-...
0
votes
0answers
69 views

Why does GNU head/tail read the whole file? [duplicate]

I have a huge file and want to see its beginning and end. However, when I use head and tail, it apparently tries to read the whole file. Since the file is larger than a terabyte, this takes a very ...
0
votes
1answer
49 views

How to Tail -f output with colors using only Awk and show the rest of the output?

I was able to do a tail -f output with colors using the Awk command. But I'm unsure how to output the rest of the log as it seems to be filtering only those 2 lines. I also want to see the other lines ...