tail man page on 4.4BSD

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TAIL(1)			  BSD General Commands Manual		       TAIL(1)

     tail — display the last part of a file

     tail [-f | -r] [-b number | -c number | -n number] [file ...]

     The tail utility displays the contents of file or, by default, its stan‐
     dard input, to the standard output.

     The display begins at a byte, line or 512-byte block location in the
     input.  Numbers having a leading plus (``+'') sign are relative to the
     beginning of the input, for example, “-c +2” starts the display at the
     second byte of the input.	Numbers having a leading minus (``-'') sign or
     no explicit sign are relative to the end of the input, for example, “-n
     2” displays the last two lines of the input.  The default starting loca‐
     tion is “-n 10”, or the last 10 lines of the input.

     The options are as follows:

     -b number
	     The location is number 512-byte blocks.

     -c number
	     The location is number bytes.

     -f	     The -f option causes tail to not stop when end of file is
	     reached, but rather to wait for additional data to be appended to
	     the input.	 The -f option is ignored if the standard input is a
	     pipe, but not if it is a FIFO.

     -n number
	     The location is number lines.

     -r	     The -r option causes the input to be displayed in reverse order,
	     by line.  Additionally, this option changes the meaning of the
	     -b, -c and -n options.  When the -r option is specified, these
	     options specify the number of bytes, lines or 512-byte blocks to
	     display, instead of the bytes, lines or blocks from the beginning
	     or end of the input from which to begin the display.  The default
	     for the -r option is to display all of the input.

     If more than a single file is specified, each file is preceded by a
     header consisting of the string “==> XXX <==” where “XXX” is the name of
     the file.

     The tail utility exits 0 on success, and >0 if an error occurs.

     cat(1), head(1), sed(1)

     The tail utility is expected to be a superset of the POSIX 1003.2 speci‐
     fication.	In particular, the -b and -r options are extensions to that

     The historic command line syntax of tail is supported by this implementa‐
     tion.  The only difference between this implementation and historic ver‐
     sions of tail, once the command line syntax translation has been done, is
     that the -b, -c and -n options modify the -r option, i.e. ``-r -c 4''
     displays the last 4 characters of the last line of the input, while the
     historic tail (using the historic syntax ``-4cr'') would ignore the -c
     option and display the last 4 lines of the input.

     A tail command appeared in Version 7 AT&T UNIX.

4th Berkeley Distribution	 June 6, 1993	     4th Berkeley Distribution

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