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RedHat 9 (Linux i386) - man page for tail (redhat section 1)

TAIL(1) 								FSF								   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 too. --retry keep trying to open a file even if it is inaccessible when tail starts or if it becomes inaccessible later -- useful only with -f -c, --bytes=N output the last N bytes -f, --follow[={name|descriptor}] output appended data as the file grows; -f, --follow, and --follow=descriptor are equivalent -F same as --follow=name --retry -n, --lines=N output the last N lines, instead of the last 10 --max-unchanged-stats=N 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) --pid=PID with -f, terminate after process ID, PID dies -q, --quiet, --silent never output headers giving file names -s, --sleep-interval=S with -f, sleep for approximately S seconds (default 1.0) between iterations. -v, --verbose always output headers giving file names --help display this help and exit --version 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 suffix: b for 512, k for 1024, m for 1048576 (1 Meg). 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 Meyering.
Report bugs to <>.
Copyright (C) 2002 Free Software Foundation, Inc. This is free software; see the source for copying conditions. There is NO warranty; not even for MERCHANTABILITY or FITNESS FOR A PARTICU- LAR PURPOSE.
The full documentation for tail is maintained as a Texinfo manual. If the info and tail programs are properly installed at your site, the command info tail should give you access to the complete manual. tail (coreutils) 4.5.3 February 2003 TAIL(1)