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 services.

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


Functionally equivalents to tail -f are

less +F

and where available

  • 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
  • Also worth mentioning how to stop and start the following - this answer sums it up well. – Steve Chambers Apr 7 '17 at 14:53

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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