tail -f x.log

I use this command to see a growing log file in the command prompt.

I am interested only in seeing the log lines that are written to the file after running tail -f and not interested in the logs that were written to the file before doing tail -f. But tail -f command on start, takes the last 10 lines and displays it.

This confuses me, at times if these logs are freshly generated (or) they are old logs?

So, how can i customize tail -f to output only the new entries?


You can try:

tail -n0 -f x.log

From man page:

-n, --lines=K
output the last K lines, instead of the last 10; or use -n +K to output lines starting with the Kth


You can use the -n0 option to show 0 lines. So

tail -n0 -f some.log

You can also use less command like

  1. less file_name.log (log file will be opened and will show first page of the log file)
  2. press shift + f (to act same as like tail -f)
  3. In case if you need to search for any keyword in log file. press ctrl + c to exit the tail mode and search for the keyword as /keyword and ?keyword.
  • This does not view only the new entries in a growing log file. – Spooky Apr 8 '18 at 22:38

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.