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Full Discussion: does head create new file
Top Forums UNIX for Advanced & Expert Users does head create new file Post 302353325 by methyl on Tuesday 15th of September 2009 06:21:17 AM
Old 09-15-2009
Most versions of "tail" have a limited buffer. Mine is 20k. See "man tail" for your system. Thus the "tail -count" syntax is not reliable where the volume of output will exceed the size of the buffer - in fact it will just give you as many lines as it can.

Code:
Here is an example of "tail" going wrong on one of my logs:

tail -200 mylog|wc -l
200

ukh44004 # tail -300 mylog|wc -l
218

tail -400 mylog|wc -l
218


The unix "split" command mentioned earlier will give the correct result for simple text files.
 

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TAIL(1) 						      General Commands Manual							   TAIL(1)

NAME
tail - deliver the last part of a file SYNOPSIS
tail [ +-number[lbc][rf] ] [ file ] tail [ -fr ] [ -n nlines ] [ -c ncharacters ] [ file ] DESCRIPTION
Tail copies the named file to the standard output beginning at a designated place. If no file is named, the standard input is copied. Copying begins at position +number measured from the beginning, or -number from the end of the input. Number is counted in lines, 1K blocks or characters, according to the appended flag or Default is -10l (ten ell). The further flag causes tail to print lines from the end of the file in reverse order; (follow) causes tail, after printing to the end, to keep watch and print further data as it appears. The second syntax is that promulgated by POSIX, where the numbers rather than the options are signed. EXAMPLES
tail file Print the last 10 lines of a file. tail +0f file Print a file, and continue to watch data accumulate as it grows. sed 10q file Print the first 10 lines of a file. SOURCE
/sys/src/cmd/tail.c BUGS
Tails relative to the end of the file are treasured up in a buffer, and thus are limited in length. According to custom, option +number counts lines from 1, and counts blocks and characters from 0. TAIL(1)

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