tailf Man page

TAILF(1) User Commands TAILF(1)


tailf – follow the growth of a log file


tailf [option] file


tailf is deprecated. It may have unfixed bugs and will be removed in
March 2017. Nowadays it’s safe to use tail -f (coreutils) in contrast
to the original documentation below.

tailf will print out the last 10 lines of the given file and then wait
for this file to grow. It is similar to tail -f but does not access
the file when it is not growing. This has the side effect of not
updating the access time for the file, so a filesystem flush does not
occur periodically when no log activity is happening.

tailf is extremely useful for monitoring log files on a laptop when
logging is infrequent and the user desires that the hard disk spin down
to conserve battery life.

-n, –lines=number, -number
Output the last number lines, instead of the last 10.

-V, –version
Display version information and exit.

-h, –help
Display help text and exit.


This program was originally written by Rik Faith (faith@acm.org) and
may be freely distributed under the terms of the X11/MIT License.
There is ABSOLUTELY NO WARRANTY for this program.

The latest inotify-based implementation was written by Karel Zak


tail, less

The tailf command is part of the util-linux package and is available
from ftp://ftp.kernel.org/pub/linux/utils/util-linux/.

util-linux July 2014 TAILF(1)