One Tail Just Isn't Enough

Although it's difficult for me to look at this piece's title and not think of mutant felines, it doesn't make the statement any less true. If you've ever used the tail command on log files, you'll instantly appreciate multitail. My friend (and LJ reader) Nick Danger introduced me to multitail, and I can't believe how useful it is. multitail will "tail" multiple files, split the screen to display them, notify of log file changes and so on. One of my favorite features is rather than show 100 lines of repeated log, it shows the line only once, and it says, "line repeats 100 times"—simple, but awesome.

Figure 1. Two files at once is just the beginning; multitail is awesome (screenshot from

multitail has more features than I could list on this page, but chances are if you've ever wished you could do something with log files, multitail does it. Check it out at .


Shawn Powers is an Associate Editor for Linux Journal. You might find him chatting on the IRC channel, or Twitter


Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.

There are some really good

doctorgood's picture

There are some really good products like Iphone 5s Station Charger at myefox, I bought one last week, the service is excellent!

Thanks a lot for sharing this

Anonymous's picture

Thanks a lot for sharing this with all people you really realize what you’re talking about! Bookmarked. |

Raymond's picture

It's great to come across a

Anonymous's picture

It's great to come across a blog every once in a while that isn't the same out of date rehashed material. Fantastic read. | |

Reply to comment | Linux Journal's picture

I'm gone to convey my little brother, that he should also pay a quick visit this website on regular basis to get updated from hottest news.

Tail is enough

Nitai Roy's picture

Thanks for this articles. it helps me a lot to understand the multi tail.


Anonymous's picture

How to Get Quality Links Thanks for an interesting study. would be great to see the most current topics and content.

damn great ! i'm always

Recettes Thai's picture

damn great !
i'm always tailing at least 3 or 4 files at the same time.
This multitail sounds liek the tool to have

I'm glad I was able to find

Anonymous's picture

I'm glad I was able to find this blog as it contains information I couldn't find elsewhere. Thanks a lot for your efforts to put this website together.

Aw, this was an exceptionally

Anonymous's picture

Aw, this was an exceptionally good post. Spending some time and actual effort to produce a great article?

Reply to comment | Linux Journal

pirater mot de passe facebook's picture

Way cool! Some very valid points! I appreciate you
writing this post plus the rest of the site is also really good.

Also visit my blog post pirater mot de passe facebook

Reply to One Tail Just Isn't Enough

Anonymous's picture

"... more features than I could list on this page ..."

Made me laugh considering this is the internet.

Reply to One Tail Just Isn't Enough

Chendil's picture

Thanks for this information. Will be a great tool for me. I just figured out that tail supports multiwindow.

tail -f /var/log/messages /var/log/zypper.log

Thanks & Regards

This is a terrific article,

Anonymous's picture

This is a terrific article, and I would like more information if you have any. I am fascinated with this topic and your post has been one of the best I have read. | | | |

One Click, Universal Protection: Implementing Centralized Security Policies on Linux Systems

As Linux continues to play an ever increasing role in corporate data centers and institutions, ensuring the integrity and protection of these systems must be a priority. With 60% of the world's websites and an increasing share of organization's mission-critical workloads running on Linux, failing to stop malware and other advanced threats on Linux can increasingly impact an organization's reputation and bottom line.

Learn More

Sponsored by Bit9

Linux Backup and Recovery Webinar

Most companies incorporate backup procedures for critical data, which can be restored quickly if a loss occurs. However, fewer companies are prepared for catastrophic system failures, in which they lose all data, the entire operating system, applications, settings, patches and more, reducing their system(s) to “bare metal.” After all, before data can be restored to a system, there must be a system to restore it to.

In this one hour webinar, learn how to enhance your existing backup strategies for better disaster recovery preparedness using Storix System Backup Administrator (SBAdmin), a highly flexible bare-metal recovery solution for UNIX and Linux systems.

Learn More

Sponsored by Storix