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tail - deliver the last part of a file


tail [ [+-]number[lbc][rf] ] [ file ]

tail [ -fr ] [ -n nlines ] [ -c ncharacters ] [ file ]


Tail copies the named file to the standard output beginning at a designated place. If no file is named, the standard input is copied.

Copying begins at position +number measured from the beginning, or -number from the end of the input. Number is counted in lines, 1K blocks or characters, according to the appended flag l, b, or c. Default is -10l (ten ell).

The further flag r causes tail to print lines from the end of the file in reverse order; f (follow) causes tail, after printing to the end, to keep watch and print further data as it appears.

The second syntax is that promulgated by POSIX, where the numbers of lines (-n) or characters (-c) are specified separately as signed integers. Note than an unsigned value is treated as negative, ie '-n 2' is equivalent to '-n -2'.


tail file
Print the last 10 lines of a file.
tail +0f file
Print a file, and continue to watch data accumulate as it grows.
According to custom, option +number counts lines from 1, and counts blocks and characters from 0.
tail -nlines +3 file
Print a file starting at line number 3

TAIL(1 ) Rev:  Thu Feb 15 14:42:47 GMT 2007