Multitail is a program which shows you the tail of several files on the screen at once and automatically scrolls them up as they are updated. Just looking at the log files continously rolling by can be confusing at first, but once you get use to it its easy to pick out important information so you can figure out what is happening on the web server. Think of it as watching the matrix, only less exciting. Multitail can be installed from the ports with

# cd /usr/ports/sysutils/multitail
# make install

With multitail you simply list the files to watch as arguments after the command, or use a * if you are going to open them all in one multitail window.

# multitail /usr/local/www/logs/*

Multitail comes with an Apache color scheme that greatly helps make them easier to read as they are scrolling by. The schemes are set in the multitail.conf file. If you have just installed multitail from the ports you will need to rename it.

# cd /usr/local/etc
# mv multitail.conf.sample multitail.conf

In this file you can change the colors and define your own color scheme if needed. To use the apache color scheme use the -cS apache flag. Here is an example by Folkert van Heusden of using multitail to monitor the logs for a web site with color.

# multitail -cS apache /usr/local/www/logs/lamps-access_log -I /usr/local/www/logs/lamps-error_log

Using the -I flag will combine both logs into the same window instead of creating two windows.

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