Emulating the Linux tail Command Using Windows PowerShell

By | September 2, 2016
This post is still in progress.

If you’ve ever developed software on a Linux system, you’ve no doubt used the tail command to print out lines as they are added to the end of a log file. The tail command is used something like this:

$ tail -f /var/log/mylogfile.log

You can accomplish the same task using Windows PowerShell. At the shell prompt, use the Get-Content cmdlet. (Cmdlets are what commands are called in the PowerShell environment). The syntax is fairly simple.

> get-content mylogfile.log –wait

Get-Content is …

mylogfile.log is the name of the log file.

-wait is …

You can also use gc, cat, and type as aliases for Get-Content.

> gc mylogfile.log –wait
> cat mylogfile.log –wait
> type mylogfile.log –wait

You can also filter the log right at the command line using regular expressions:

> get-content mylogfile.log -wait | where { $_ -match “ERROR” }

More Information

Using the Get-Content Cmdlet”. Microsoft Technet.

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