TAILF(1)                        User Commands                       TAILF(1)

NAME         top

       tailf - follow the growth of a log file

SYNOPSIS         top

       tailf [option] file

DESCRIPTION         top

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

       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 wishes the hard disk to 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.

AUTHOR         top

       This program was originally written by Rik Faith ( 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

SEE ALSO         top

       less(1), tail(1)

AVAILABILITY         top

       The tailf command is part of the util-linux package and is available

COLOPHON         top

       This page is part of the util-linux (a random collection of Linux
       utilities) project.  Information about the project can be found at 
       ⟨⟩.  If you have a
       bug report for this manual page, send it to  This page was obtained from the
       project's upstream Git repository 
       ⟨git://⟩ on
       2017-03-13.  If you discover any rendering problems in this HTML ver‐
       sion of the page, or you believe there is a better or more up-to-date
       source for the page, or you have corrections or improvements to the
       information in this COLOPHON (which is not part of the original man‐
       ual page), send a mail to

util-linux                       March 2015                         TAILF(1)