For some test I start Ubuntu Live from USB.

I'm trying to use tail command to show debug log, but it doesn't work.

I also test opening two terminals (t1, t2) with this code:


touch a 


tail -f a


for i in `seq 1 10`; do echo $i >> a; sleep 1; done

Nothing in t2! What can be the cause?

  • You are using a relative path. Is $PWD the same in both terminals?
    – l0b0
    Jul 10, 2014 at 8:24
  • same..if after echo in t1 I do 'cat a' in t2, I can see the appended string.. I can't undertand.. Jul 10, 2014 at 8:27
  • I used watch -n 0.1 tail -n 50 filename.log as a workaround Mar 1, 2015 at 11:32

1 Answer 1


If it's a case of tail not working at all, then it could be because your liveCD is using the overlayfs filesystem, which has a bug regarding notifications of modified files. You could try to move the log to another filesystem, such as /tmp if the application creating the log has an option to do so.

You could also carry out your test in /tmp instead of your homedir.


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