Linux Command Directory
This directory of Linux commands is from Linux in a Nutshell, 5th Edition.
Click on any of the 687 commands below to get a description and list of available options. All links in the command summaries point to the online version of the book on Safari Bookshelf.
tail [options] [files]
Print the last 10 lines of each named file (or standard input if - is specified) on standard output. If more than one file is specified, the output includes a header at the beginning of each file:
= =>filename<= =
For options that take the number of bytes or lines as an argument, you prepend a plus sign (+) to num to begin printing with the numth item. These options can also specify a block size:
Print the last num bytes.
Don't quit at the end of file; "follow" file as it grows and end when the user presses Ctrl-C. Following by file descriptor is the default, so -f, --follow, and --follow=descriptor are equivalent. Use --follow=name to track the actual name of a file even if the file is renamed, as with a rotated logfile.
Identical to --follow=name --retry.
Print a help message and exit.
Print the last num lines.
Used with --follow=name to reopen a file whose size hasn't changed after num iterations (default 5), to see if it has been unlinked or renamed (as with rotated logfiles).
Used with -f to end when process ID pid dies.
Suppress filename headers.
With -f, keep trying to open a file even if it isn't accessible when tail starts or if it becomes inaccessible later.
With -f, sleep approximately sec seconds between iterations. Default is 1 second.
With multiple files, always output the filename headers.
Print version information and then exit.
Show the last 20 lines containing instances of .Ah:
grep '\.Ah' file | tail -20
Show the last 10 characters of variable name:
echo "$name" | tail -c
Print the last two blocks of bigfile:
tail -2b bigfile