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Ubuntu Unleashed 2014 Edition: Covering 13.10 and 14.04,Ninth Edition by Paul Hudson, Andrew Hudson, Matthew Helmke

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Printing the Last Lines of a File with tail

If you want to watch a log file as it is written to, or want to monitor a user’s actions as they are occurring, you need to be able to track log files as they change. In these situations you need the tail command, which prints the last few lines of a file and updates as new lines are added. This command tells tail to print the last few lines of /var/log/httpd/access_log, the Apache hit log:

matthew@seymour:~$ tail /var/log/httpd/access_log

To get tail to remain running and update as the file changes, add the -f parameter (follow):

matthew@seymour:~$ tail -f /var/log/httpd/access_log

You can tie the lifespan of a tail follow to the existence ...

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