Saturday, May 26, 2012

MultiTail: Viewing Multiple Files with Custom Colorschemes

MultiTail is a program which allows you to tail multiple files in a single terminal. The feature I find most useful is its ability to highlight text in files using "colorschemes". There are a number of pre-defined colorschemes which can be found in the configuration file, multitail.conf.

Here is an example of using multitail. The command below tails two files: an apache access log and a tomcat catalina log using two different colorschemes.

$ multitail -cS apache /tmp/apache/access_log -cS log4j ${TOMCAT_HOME}/logs/catalina.out
You can also add additional colorschemes to your ~/.multitailrc. A colorscheme is simply a set of regular expressions to capture and highlight the text you are interested in. Here is my config file which contains my custom XML colour scheme.

# element text
# attribute key
cs_re_s:green: ([^ =]*)=
# attribute value
# element name
Used like this:
$  multitail -cS xml /var/log/config.xml
Related Post:
Highlighting Command Output with Generic Colouriser