[SATLUG] Multitail via SSH

Othniel Graichen othniel at gmail.com
Fri Oct 29 11:12:35 CDT 2010

Yes, it does make sense and you explained it perfectly.

Have you any previous familiarity with the tail utility?

Basically multitail is the equivalent of a wrapper script that spawns a
set of tail -f commands each monitoring a different logfile.

Whenever you "tail -f" anylogfile , (and this is a common thing to do in
what you see is only the last screen full of the logfile where the size of
the screen is 10 lines.  If that is not enough for your needs, you can
specify a command line switch to tail to have it do more lines.

In any case your multitail utility behaves like tail -f

YMMV, but when using tail -f it never starts monitoring with no history
or context whatsoever -- it shows the last screen full of the logfile where
screensize = 10 by default.

Logfiles typically have datetime stamps as part of the logging message
so as to provide such context.

What I imagine to be more useful than a replacement for tail -f is a
version of less with a -f switch to monitor files like tail but allowing
scrolling up and down like less.


On Fri, Oct 29, 2010 at 10:35 AM, David Salisbury <
david.salisbury at momentumweb.com> wrote:

>  On the duplicated line change field 1 to tom and field 7
>>  (the last one) to /usr/local/bin/mt
> OK, I was indeed wondering if it could work that way, and what would happen
> if you just quit the program (and that sounds like it would be that the
> session would close, which would be good).
> Additionally, though, and why I was initially thinking some sort of pipe
> scenario might be the solution, is what if I want to view the multitail
> output, but not in an initialized state?  Ie, when I start multitail with my
> custom 'mt' command that you mention, it would just start viewing all of the
> files it's set to monitor, but from that moment in time (I mean, you could
> write the script to look back 2 weeks or something I realize, but that could
> be a lot of extra work if one was monitoring lots of files with different
> formats).  What if I would like to view the output of a multitail session
> that's been running for, say, 3 weeks, so that I could see what's been
> happening also BEFORE I am connecting?  Do you see what I'm saying?  Does
> that make sense, am I explaining that well?
> David
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