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ROOTTAIL(1)		    General Commands Manual		   ROOTTAIL(1)

       root-tail - print text directly to X11 root window

       root-tail   [-g|--geometry  GEOMETRY]  [-fn|--font  FONTSPEC]  [--color
       color]  [--reload  SEC  COMMAND]	 [--shade]  [--outline]	  [--minspace]
       [--noflicker]  [-f|--fork] [--reverse] [--whole]	[--partial] [--update]
       [--cont STRING] [--wordwrap] [--justify]	[--noinitial]  [--frame]  [-id
       ID]	[-i|--interval	    SECONDS]	 [-V]	  file1[,color[,desc]]

       Displays	a given	file anywhere on your X11 root window, i.e. it is kind
       of  tail	 -f for	multiple files using your desktop background as	output

       All non-option arguments	on the comamnd line are	files to be logged.  A
       null desc (example: "/var/log/messages,red,") will prevent the printing
       of a description	and the	[]'s.

   General Options
       --color COLOR
	      Use COLOR	as default.

       --font |	-fn FONTSPEC
	      Use font FONTSPEC. This can be either a fixed  width  font  like
	      -fn  fixed  or any font using -fn	'-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*'
	      with the appropriate fields filled out (see xfontsel).  Specify-
	      ing  a  different	 FONTSPEC before each filename will cause each
	      file to be displayed in a	different font.

       -f | --fork
	      Forks to the background.

	      Display the files	in reverse order, with the newest lines	at the

	      Only display whole lines.	If the last line of a file doesn't yet
	      end with a newline character then	wait until it does before dis-
	      playing  it.  This is the	default	if more	than one file is being

	      This is the opposite of the --whole option (see above). It  dis-
	      plays  lines  even  if they don't	yet have a newline at the end.
	      This is the default if only one file is being displayed.

	      Update partial lines 'in place' if they are still	on the	screen
	      when  they  are updated in their files. Using --update automati-
	      cally turns on --partial.

       --cont STRING
	      When partial lines are broken into two  lines  in	 the  display,
	      prefix  the 2nd line with	STRING.	Defaults to "||	". Specify the
	      "--whole"	argument to ensure partial lines are never  displayed,
	      or  specify  "--update"  to attempt to "repair" broken lines in-

       --cont-color COLOR
	      Use COLOR	when displaying	the continuation string	(as optionally
	      specified	with the --cont	option above).

	      The  default  behaviour  is to fit as much as possible onto each
	      line of output, even if this means splitting a word between  one
	      line  and	the next. The --wordwrap argument splits lines at spa-
	      ces if possible.

	      After wrapping long lines, attempt to justify the	text  to  pro-
	      duce a smooth right-hand margin.	Implies	--wordwrap.

       --reload	SEC COMMAND
	      Re-display  the  file(s)	and run	COMMAND	every SEC seconds. The
	      default is to never re-display the file(s).

	      Add black	shading	to the font.

	      Add a black outline to the font  (making	redraws	 quite	a  bit

	      Use minimum linespace even when using shading or outlining. This
	      might result in leftover pixels (dependign on font  and  logfile

	      Use slower but flicker-free update.

	      Don't display the	end of the file(s) initially.

       -id ID Use the given window ID for output instead of the	root window.

       -i | --interval SECONDS
	      Use  the	specified  sleeping interval between checks instead of
	      the default 2.4 seconds. Fractional values are OK.

       -V     Print version information.

	      Draw a frame around the selected area.  This is useful when try-
	      ing to find the perfect geometry.

       root-tail  -g  800x250+100+50 -font 10x20 /var/log/messages,green -font
       12x24 /var/log/secure,red,'ALERT'

       Some desktop environments open a	virtual	root window and	make it	diffi-
       cult  to	share it. If you cannot	see anything after starting root-tail,
       try to find a setting "allow programs on	desktop" or similar, or	 manu-
       ally specify a window id.

       Should you happen to find any bugs please fix them and send me a	diff.

       NOTE:  This  program  was  modified by Marc Lehmann <>, who
       couldn't	reach the original author. Please direct bug-reports  etc.  to

4.2 Berkeley Distribution	  2004-03-27			   ROOTTAIL(1)


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