Tail less

I keep seeing people typing these lines in the console:

$ tail /path/to/some.log
$ tail -f /path/to/some.log

This is often a dumb thing to do. Why? Because you can’t really do anything with tail. What if you discovered you needed to look at something right above the lines you got printed out? Or what if you were -f’ing and something flew past you that you needed to investigate further? You’d have to leave tail and run it again with more lines or use a different tool instead. Not very practical.

What more people should do is to use less tail and more less 🙂

$ less /path/to/some.log

Things you can do with less

Key

Function

Up one line

Down one line
b

Up one page
space

Down one page
g

Beginning of file
G

End of file
F

Follow
ctrl + c

Stop follow
q

Quit
/

Search forward
?

Search backwards
n

Next search result
N

Previous search result

Much more flexible and handy than tail! Know your tools 😉 Now back to work…