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It's great to come across a blog every once in a while that isn't the same out of date rehashed material.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

White Paper
Linux Management with Red Hat Satellite: Measuring Business Impact and ROI

Linux has become a key foundation for supporting today's rapidly growing IT environments. Linux is being used to deploy business applications and databases, trading on its reputation as a low-cost operating environment. For many IT organizations, Linux is a mainstay for deploying Web servers and has evolved from handling basic file, print, and utility workloads to running mission-critical applications and databases, physically, virtually, and in the cloud. As Linux grows in importance in terms of value to the business, managing Linux environments to high standards of service quality — availability, security, and performance — becomes an essential requirement for business success.

Learn More

Sponsored by Red Hat

White Paper
Private PaaS for the Agile Enterprise

If you already use virtualized infrastructure, you are well on your way to leveraging the power of the cloud. Virtualization offers the promise of limitless resources, but how do you manage that scalability when your DevOps team doesn’t scale? In today’s hypercompetitive markets, fast results can make a difference between leading the pack vs. obsolescence. Organizations need more benefits from cloud computing than just raw resources. They need agility, flexibility, convenience, ROI, and control.

Stackato private Platform-as-a-Service technology from ActiveState extends your private cloud infrastructure by creating a private PaaS to provide on-demand availability, flexibility, control, and ultimately, faster time-to-market for your enterprise.

Learn More

Sponsored by ActiveState