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.\" tailf.1 --
.\" Created: Thu Jan 11 16:43:10 1996 by
.\" Copyright 1996, 2003 Rickard E. Faith (
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.\" manual provided the copyright notice and this permission notice are
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.\" manual under the conditions for verbatim copying, provided that the
.\" entire resulting derived work is distributed under the terms of a
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.\" have taken the same level of care in the production of this manual,
.\" which is licensed free of charge, as they might when working
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.TH TAILF 1 "13 February 2003" "" "Linux Programmer's Manual"
tailf \- follow the growth of a log file
.B tailf
[\fIOPTION\fR] \fIfile\fR
.B tailf
will print out the last 10 lines of a file and then wait for the file to
grow. It is similar to
.B tail -f
but does not access the file when it is not growing. This has the side
effect of not updating the access time for the file, so a filesystem flush
does not occur periodically when no log activity is happening.
.B tailf
is extremely useful for monitoring log files on a laptop when logging is
infrequent and the user desires that the hard disk spin down to conserve
battery life.
Mandatory arguments to long options are mandatory for short options too.
\fB\-n\fR, \fB\-\-lines\fR=\fIN\fR, \fB\-N\fR
output the last
.I N
lines, instead of the last 10.
This program was originally written by Rik Faith ( and may be freely
distributed under the terms of the X11/MIT License. There is ABSOLUTELY
NO WARRANTY for this program.
The latest inotify based implementation was written by Karel Zak (
.BR tail "(1), " less "(1)"
The tailf command is part of the util-linux-ng package and is available from