Just can’t get good tail…

At least not when doing Windows.

I’ve tried a couple of free GUI-esque applications for tailing logs on Windows servers, but none of them have really panned out. Tail for Win32 is fine for small log files, but stops working when you get into the multi-megabyte log range. Plus it has a creepy icon.

mTAIL looks good, but returns a frightening “Unknown Publisher” error in Windows 2003. Same for the free version of Bare Metal’s tail, WinTail.

MakeLogic (motto: “We are excited that MakeLogic is delivering” — Microsoft. What?) has a Java Tail that also looks promising, but is still clunky and gives random ArrayIndexOutOfBounds errors.

And then there are the for-fee version like BareTail, Hoo WinTail, HPS WinTail, and Tail4Win. All seem very nice… but then, I don’t pay for tail.

So ultimately I’m back to good old tail -f via Cygwin (which I swear didn’t used to work). I understand that the Windows Server 2003 Resource Kit Tools provide similar functionality; however if I’m going to catch tail from the command line, I need to do it from bash.

One thought on “Just can’t get good tail…

  1. I have 3 versions I wrote for my own use. A cheap/quick (TailCMD) CMD line one which I rarely use. A full-blown Windows version (Tail for Windows) which is usually OTT for casual use and the one I find I use the most is a Win32/Apache CGI version which I use all the time due to it’s convenience and the fact that I can bookmark the logfile URLs easily and re-launch from them.

    All 3 linked from the above site.

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