Skip site navigation (1)Skip section navigation (2)

FreeBSD Manual Pages


home | help
TAIL(1)				 User Commands			       TAIL(1)

       tail - output the last part of files

       tail [OPTION]...	[FILE]...

       Print  the  last	 10  lines of each FILE	to standard output.  With more
       than one	FILE, precede each with	a header giving	the file  name.	  With
       no FILE,	or when	FILE is	-, read	standard input.

       Mandatory  arguments  to	 long  options are mandatory for short options

       -c, --bytes=N
	      output the last N	bytes; alternatively, use +N to	 output	 bytes
	      starting with the	Nth of each file

       -f, --follow[={name|descriptor}]
	      output appended data as the file grows; -f, --follow, and	--fol-
	      low=descriptor are equivalent

       -F     same as --follow=name --retry

       -n, --lines=N
	      output the last N	lines, instead of the last 10; or  use	+N  to
	      output lines starting with the Nth

	      with  --follow=name,  reopen  a  FILE which has not changed size
	      after N (default 5) iterations to	see if it has been unlinked or
	      renamed (this is the usual case of rotated log files)

	      with -f, terminate after process ID, PID dies

       -q, --quiet, --silent
	      never output headers giving file names

	      keep trying to open a file even when it is or becomes inaccessi-
	      ble; useful when following by name, i.e.,	with --follow=name

       -s, --sleep-interval=S
	      with -f, sleep for approximately S seconds (default 1.0) between

       -v, --verbose
	      always output headers giving file	names

       --help display this help	and exit

	      output version information and exit

       If  the	first  character of N (the number of bytes or lines) is	a `+',
       print beginning with the	Nth item from the start	of each	 file,	other-
       wise, print the last N items in the file.  N may	have a multiplier suf-
       fix:  b	512,  kB  1000,	 K  1024,  MB  1000*1000,  M   1024*1024,   GB
       1000*1000*1000, G 1024*1024*1024, and so	on for T, P, E,	Z, Y.

       With  --follow  (-f),  tail  defaults to	following the file descriptor,
       which means that	even if	a tail'ed file is renamed, tail	will  continue
       to  track  its  end.   This  default behavior is	not desirable when you
       really want to track the	actual name of the file, not the file descrip-
       tor (e.g., log rotation).  Use --follow=name in that case.  That	causes
       tail to track the named file by reopening it periodically to see	if  it
       has been	removed	and recreated by some other program.

       Written	by Paul	Rubin, David MacKenzie,	Ian Lance Taylor, and Jim Mey-

       Report tail bugs	to
       GNU coreutils home page:	<>
       General help using GNU software:	<>

       Copyright (C) 2009 Free Software	Foundation, Inc.  License GPLv3+:  GNU
       GPL version 3 or	later <>.
       This  is	 free  software:  you  are free	to change and redistribute it.
       There is	NO WARRANTY, to	the extent permitted by	law.

       The full	documentation for tail is maintained as	a Texinfo manual.   If
       the  info  and  tail  programs are properly installed at	your site, the

	      info coreutils 'tail invocation'

       should give you access to the complete manual.

GNU coreutils 7.1		   July	2010			       TAIL(1)


Want to link to this manual page? Use this URL:

home | help