In Unix, how can I display the last lines of a file?
Use the Unix command
tail to read from standard input or a file and send the result to standard output (i.e., your terminal screen). The format for using the
tail command is:
tail [ +-[number][lbcr] ] [file]
Everything in brackets is an optional argument. If you don't specify a filename,
tail uses standard input.
Tail begins at distance
+number from the beginning or
-number from the end of the input. The number is counted in units of lines, blocks, or characters, according to the appended options
-c. When you don't specify a unit,
tail operates based on lines.
tail to print lines from the end of the file in reverse order. The default for
-r is to print the entire file this way. Specifying
tail not to quit at the end of the file, but rather to reread the file repeatedly (useful for watching a "growing" file such as a log file).
For example, given a file containing the English alphabet with each letter on a separate line, the command:
tail -3 alphabetfile
x y z
You can use
tail with pipes. For example, to see the sizes of the last few files in the current directory, you could enter at the Unix prompt:
ls -l | tail
To save this information in a file in the current directory named
mylist, at the Unix prompt, enter:
ls -l | tail > mylist
For more detailed information on
tail, consult the Unix manual page by entering at the prompt:
At Indiana University, for personal or departmental Linux or Unix systems support, see At IU, how do I get support for Linux or Unix?
This is document acrj in the Knowledge Base.
Last modified on 2016-12-01 13:36:23.
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