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MULTITAIL(1)                                                      MULTITAIL(1)



NAME
       MultiTail - browse through several files at once

SYNOPSIS
       MultiTail [options]

       options: [-cs|-Cs|-c-] [-s] [-i] inputfile [-i anotherinputfile] [...]


DESCRIPTION
       The  program  MultiTail  lets  you view one or multiple files like the original tail program. The difference is
       that it creates multiple windows on your console (with ncurses). It can also monitor wildcards: if another file
       matching  the wildcard has a more recent modification date, it will automatically switch to that file. That way
       you can, for example, monitor a complete directory of files. Merging of 2 or even more logfiles is possible. It
       can also use colors while displaying the logfiles (through regular expressions), for faster recognition of what
       is important and what not. It can also filter lines (again with regular expressions). It has interactive  menus
       for  editing given regular expressions and deleting and adding windows. One can also have windows with the out-
       put of shell scripts and other software. When viewing the output of external software, MultiTail can mimic  the
       functionality  of tools like 'watch' and such. When new mail arrives for the current user, the statuslines will
       become green. To reset this "mail has arrived"-state, press ' ' (a space). For help at any time, press F1.



OPTIONS
       -i file
              Select a file to monitor. You can have multiple -i file parameters.  You only need to  add  -i  file  in
              front of a filename if the filename starts with a dash ('-').

       -I file
              Same as -i file but add the output to the previous window (so the output is merged).

       -iw file interval
              -Iw  file interval Like '-i'/'-I' but expects the parameter to be a wildcard and the second(!) an inter-
              val.  Initially MultiTail will start monitoring the first file with the most recent  modification  time.
              Every  interval  it  will  check if any new files were created (or modified) and start tailing that one.
              *Don't forget* to put quotation marks around the filename as otherwhise the shell will try to substitute
              them!

       -l command
              Command  to execute in a window. Parameter is the command. Do not forget to use "'s if the external com-
              mand needs parameter! (e.g. -l "ping host").

       -L command
              Same as -l but add the output to the previous window (so the output is merged).

       -j     Read from stdin (can be used only once as there is only 1 stdin).

       -J     Same as -j but add the output to the previous window (so the output is merged).

       --mergeall
              Merge all of the following files into the same window (see '--no-mergeall').

       --no-mergeall
              Stop merging all files into one window (see '--mergeall');

       --no-repeat
              When the same line is repeated, it will be suppressed while printing a "Last message repeated  x  times"
              message.

       --mark-interval x
              Print every 'x' seconds a mark-line when nothing else was printed.

       -q i path
              Check  path  for new files with interval 'i', all in new windows. One can enter paths here understood by
              the shell. E.g. "/tmp/*". Note: do not forget to add quotes around the pathname  to  prevent  the  shell
              from parsing it!

       -Q i path
              Like -q: but merge them all in one window.

       --new-only
              For -q/-Q: only create windows for files created after MultiTail was started.

       --closeidle x
              Close windows when more then 'x' seconds no new data was processed.

       -a x   Write the output also to file 'x' (like 'tee') AFTER it was filtered by MultiTail.

       -A x   Write the output also to file 'x' (like 'tee') BEFORE it was filtered by MultiTail.

       -g x   Send the output also to command 'x' AFTER it was filtered by MultiTail.

       -G x   Send the output also to command 'x' BEFORE it was filtered by MultiTail.

       -S     Prepend merged output with subwindow-number.

       -t title
              With this switch, "title" is displayed in the statusline instead of the filename or commandline.

       -n number_of_lines
              Number of lines to tail initially. The default depends on the size of the terminal-window.

       -N number_of_lines
              Like -n but this parameter will be used for all files/commands you tail after this parameter.

       -r interval
              Restart  the  command  (started  with  -l/-L) after it has exited. With interval you can set how long to
              sleep before restarting.

       -R interval
              Restarts a command like -r only this one shows the difference in output compared to the previous run.

       -rc / -Rc interval
              Like -r / -R but clears the window before each iteration.

       -h     The help.

       -f     Follow the following filename, not the descriptor.

       --follow-all
              For all files after this switch: follow the following filename, not the descriptor.

       -fr filter
              Use the predefined filter(s) from the configfile.

       -e     Use the next regular expression on the following file.

       -ex    Use regular expression on the following file and execute the command when it matches. The  command  gets
              as commandline parameter the whole matching line.

       -eX    Like  '-ex'  but  only give the matching substring as parameter. This requires a regular expression with
              '(' and ')'.

       -ec    Use regular expression on the following file and display the matches.

       -eC    Use regular expression on the following file but display everything and display the matches inverted.

       -E     Use the next regular expression on the following files.

       -v     Negate the next regular expression.

       -s x   Splits the screen vertically in 'x' columns.

       -sw x  At what position to split the screen. e.g. '-sw 20,40,,10' (=4 columns)

       -sn x  How many windows per column for vertical split (use with -s or -sw). e.g. '-sn 3,,2'.

       -wh x  Sets the height of a window (advisory: if it won't fit, the height is adjusted).

       -cS scheme
              Show the next given file using the colorscheme selected with 'scheme' (as defined in multitail.conf).

       -CS scheme
              Show all following files using the colorscheme selected with 'scheme' (as defined in multitail.conf).

       -csn   Extra switch for the following switches; do not use reverse (inverted) colors.

       -cs    Show the next given file in colors (syslog).

       -c     Show the next given file in colors.

       -Cs    Show all following files in color (through syslog-scheme).

       -C     Show all following files in color.

       -Cf field_index delimiter
              Show all following files in color depending on field selected with field_index. Fields are delimited  by
              the defined delimiter.

       -cf field_index delimiter
              Show  the  next  file in color depending on field selected with field_index. Fields are delimited by the
              defined delimiter.

       -ci color
              Use a specific color. Usefull when merging multiple outputs.

       -cT terminalmode
              Interpret terminal codes. Only ANSI supported at this time.

       -c-    Do NOT colorize the following file.

       -C-    Do NOT colorize the following files.

       -ts    Add a timestamp to each line (format is configurable in multitail.conf).

       -Z color
              Specify the color-attributes for the markerline.

       -T     A timestamp will be placed in the markerline.

       -d     Do NOT update statusline.

       -D     Do not display a statusline at all.

       -du    Put the statusline above the data window.

       -z     Do not display "window closed" windows.

       -u     Set screen updateinterval (for slow links).

       -m nlines
              Set buffersize Set nlines to 0 (zero) if you want no limits on the buffering.

       -mb x  Set scrollback buffer size (in bytes, use xKB/MB/GB).

       -M nlines
              Set the buffersize on ALL following files.

       -p x [y]
              Set linewrap: a = print everything including linewrap. l = just show everything  starting  at  the  left
              until the rightside of the window is reached. r = show everything starting from the right of the line. s
              = show everything starting with the processname. S = show everything starting after the processname. o =
              show everything starting at offset 'y'.

       -P x [y]
              Like -p but for all following windows.

       -ke x  Strip parts of the input using regular expression 'x'.

       -kr x y
              Strip parts of the input starting at offset x and ending (not including!) offset y.

       -kc x y
              Strip parts of the input: strip column 'y' with delimiter 'x'.

       -ks x  Use editscheme 'x' from configfile.

       -w     Do not use colors.

       -b n   Sets the TAB-width.

       --config filename
              Load the configuration from given filename.

       -x     Set  xterm-title: %f will be replaced with the last changed file, %h with the hostname, %l with the load
              of the system, %m with "New mail!" when the current user has new mail, %u  with  the  current  effective
              user, %t timestamp of last changed file, %% with a %

       -o configfile-item
              Proces a configurationfile item via the commandline in case you cannot edit the default configfile.

       --cont Reconnect lines with a '? at the end.

       --mark-interval interval
              When nothing comes in, print a '---mark---' line every 'interval' seconds.

       --mark-change
              When  multiple  files  are merged an multitail switches between two windows, print a markerline with the
              filename.

       --no-mark-change
              Do NOT print the markerline when the file changes (overrides the configfile).

       --label text
              Put "text" in front of each line. Usefull when merging multiple files and/or commands.

       --retry
              Keep trying to open the following file if it is inaccessible.

       --retry-all
              Like --retry but for all following files.

       -cv x  Use conversion scheme 'x' (see multitail.conf).

       --basename
              Only display the filename (and not the path) in the statusline.

       -F file
              Use 'file' as configfile (instead of default configfile).

       --no-load-global-config
              Do NOT load the global configfile.

       --beep-interval x
              Let the terminal beep for every x-th line processed. Press 'i' in the main menu to see how many times it
              beeped.

       --bi x Like '--beep-interval' but only for current (sub-)window. Statistics on the number of beeps can be found
              in the statistics for this (sub-)window. Press 't' in the main menu.

       -H     Show heartbeat (to keep your sessions alive).

       -V     Show the version and exit.


KEYS
       You can press a couple of keys while the program runs.  To see a list of them, press F1 (or ^h). You can  press
       F1 (or ^h) at any time: it gives you context related information.  Press 'q' to exit the program.


EXAMPLES
       See http://www.vanheusden.com/multitail/examples.html for more and other examples.

       multitail /var/log/apache/access_log logfile -i -filestartingwithdatsh
              This  creates  three windows. One with the contents of /var/log/apache/access_log, one with the contents
              of logfile and so on.

       multitail -R 2 -l "netstat -t"
              This runs netstat every 2 seconds and then shows what has changed since the previous run. That  way  one
              can see new connections being made and closed connections fading away.

       multitail logfile -l "ping 192.168.1.3"
              This  creates  two  windows.  One  with  the  contents  of  logfile,  one  with with the output of 'ping
              192.168.1.3'.

       multitail /var/log/apache/access_log -I /var/log/apache/error_log
              This creates one window with the contents of /var/log/apache/access_log  merged  with  the  contents  of
              /var/log/apache/error_log.

       multitail -M 0 /var/log/apache/access_log -I /var/log/apache/error_log
              Same  as  previous example. This example will store all logged entries in a buffer so that you can later
              on browse through them (by pressing ' b
               ').


BUGS
       As this program grew larger and larger over the time with new functionality sometimes added ad-hoc,  some  bugs
       may have been introduced. Please notify folkertATvanheusden.com if you find any.

       Well,  except for the resizing of your terminal window. The program might crash when doing such things. Upgrad-
       ing the ncurses library to at least version 5.3 might help in that case.


SEE ALSO
       http://www.vanheusden.com/multitail/


NOTES
       This page describes MultiTail as found in the multitail-4.3.1 package;  other  versions  may  differ  slightly.
       Mail  corrections  and  additions  to  folkertATvanheusden.com.   Report bugs in the program to folkert@vanheus-
       den.com.



MultiTail                           2007-02                       MULTITAIL(1)