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No examples of coloring are given as that is configurable via the configurationfile. Also for most
commonly used files color schemes have already been designed.
  • Automatically add new files to a window:
    multitail -Q /var/log/myprogram/log-2014*.txt
  • Merge 2 logfiles in one window:
    multitail /var/log/apache/access.log -I /var/log/apache/error.log
  • Show 3 logfiles in 2 columns:
    multitail -s 2 /var/log/apache/access.log /var/log/messages /var/log/mail.log
  • Show 5 logfiles while merging 2 and put them in 2 columns with only one in the left column:
    multitail -s 2 -sn 1,3  /var/log/apache/access.log -I /var/log/apache/error.log /var/log/messages \
                            /var/log/mail.log /var/log/syslog
  • Merge the output of 2 ping commands while removing "64 bytes received from" from only 1 of them:
    multitail -l "ping" -ke "64 bytes from" -L "ping"
  • Show the output of a ping-command and if it displays a timeout, send a message to all users
    currently logged in
    multitail -ex timeout "echo timeout | wall" -l "ping"
  • In one window show all new TCP connections and their state changes using netstat while in
    the other window displaying the merged access and error logfiles of apache
    multitail -R 2 -l "netstat -t" /var/log/apache/access.log -I /var/log/apache/error.log
  • As the previosu example but also copy the output to the file netstat.log
    multitail -a netstat.log -R 2 -l "netstat -t tcp" /var/log/apache/access.log -I /var/log/apache/error.log
  • Show 2 logfiles merged in one window but give each logfile a different color so that you
    can easily see what lines are for what logfile:
    multitail -ci green /var/log/apache/access.log -ci red -I /var/log/apache/error.log
  • Show 3 rssfeeds merged in one window using rsstail
    multitail -cS rsstail -l "rsstail -n 1 -z -l -d -u" \
    	-cS rsstail -L "rsstail -n 1 -z -l -d -u" -cS rsstail \
    	-L "rsstail -n 1 -z -l -u"
  • Show a Squid (proxy server) logfile while converting timestamps to something readable
    multitail -cv squid /var/log/squid/access.log
  • Display Q-Mail logging while converting the timestamp into human readable format
    multitail -cv qmailtimestr /var/log/qmail/qmail.smtpd.log
  • Merge ALL apache logfiles (*access_log/*error_log) into one window:
    multitail -cS apache --mergeall /var/log/apache/*access_log --no-mergeall -cS apache_error \
    	--mergeall /var/log/apache/*error_log --no-mergeall
  • Monitor the logfile of an other system:
    For this you need to setup a couple of things. MultiTail runs on system A, the logfile on system B.
    In this example we're going to monitor the apache logfile. Add the following to /etc/services:
    apachelog       20000/tcp
    Add this to /etc/inetd.conf:
    apachelog stream tcp nowait root /usr/local/sbin/tail_apache_log /usr/local/sbin/tail_apache_log
    and create the file /usr/local/sbin/tail_apache_log with the following content:
    /usr/bin/tail -f /var/log/apache2/access.log
    make sure that you don't forget to make that script executable (chmod +x filename).
    Then on host A start MultiTail like this:
    multitail -cS apache -l "telnet B 20000"
    Please note that logfiles go in plaintext across the network. You may also need to adjust
    the files /etc/hosts.[allow|deny] on host B to only allow host A to connect.
  • Monitoring Tomcat
    multitail -cS apache -cS log4j "${TOMCAT_HOME}/logs/catalina.out"

Examples on the web

2 cent tip in Linux Gazette

Using MultiTail as an IRC client!

House for sale in Gouda, the Netherlands ("Holland"):