I'm often tailing multiple files, and even with a terminal multiplexer (ie tmux or screen) it's still annoying to have multiple windows/shell sessions dedicated to watching multiple files.

Is there something akin to Vim's tabbed mode which would allow me to watch multiple files in real time, being able to change tabs between open files?

Something like this would be awesome:

enter image description here

2 Answers 2


You are looking for multitail

Should be available on most standard repositories

As a point of clarification, I don't believe it does tabs but it opens multiple files in splits, and will give you live feeds of those files. works beautifully for what you are trying to do.

  • That's nice, as it helps me avoid using multiple sessions for multiple tails, but it, in effect, simply mimics what I'm able to do with my terminal multiplexer (split windows). I'll see if there's any tabbed option or if I can configure vim to do it right. Sep 25, 2015 at 19:07
  • @NaftuliTzviKay Check my edit, hehe, use the set autoread function in vim :)
    – Gravy
    Sep 25, 2015 at 19:08
  • Will autoread follow the end of the file, too? Sep 25, 2015 at 19:10
  • ah, actually on deeper investigation autoread does not meet the functionality you require. sorry about that. I'll see if I can find another option, Let me know if you find something before I do hah.
    – Gravy
    Sep 25, 2015 at 19:14

If the idea of using a java-based tool to achieve this isn't too repugnant, try follow

screenshot of follow utility

  • 2
    I have to admit that it's at least a little repugnant, but the main issue is that I'm usually doing admin work on remote machines over SSH. Sure I could X forward, but X-forwarding a Java program? I don't know how I'd sleep at night after doing that. Sep 25, 2015 at 19:40

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