Tailing logs in Windows with BareTail

Today I talk about the useful windows tailing tool, BareTail.

What requirements do I have from a tailing program

When working with large logs that are constantly being written to, I typically want to watch them as they are appended to.

This gives the first requirement of a tool to do this, it must automatically update and display a file as it is written to.

In addition many of the files I am working with are many gigabytes in size. So the program must be able to cope with these larger files.

Normally on a Linux operating system I would use the tail program. This is built into the core utils of many distributions of Linux and works very well.

Why use BareTail as tail on Windows

One of the big advantages to BareTail is that it is able to easily handle multiple files at once in tabs.

It is also very good at handling large files and those that update very frequently.

Filter modal showing how you can colour the rows based on rules

Another useful feature is that lines can be coloured based on a search string. Above shows the dialog that allows customising the colours.

This allows you to set colours which will draw your attention to the log lines you are interested in. The rules will be applied in the order they are displayed. The first rule that is matched will be the one that applies.

Screenshot taken from their website

Using this you can also hide lines by setting the foreground and background colour to the same colour.

Summary of Baretail

BareTail provides the power of the Linux tail command, in a GUI form factor for Windows. The customisable line colouring allows to make the log easier to read and find important information.

BareTail is part of the Bare Metal Software group of software and can be downloaded on their website.

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