tail is a command-line utility that allows you to display the last part of files. It is a highly versatile tool, commonly used in system administration and cybersecurity to monitor log files, trace errors, and observe real-time system activities. This utility is available by default on most Unix-based operating systems, such as Linux and macOS.


The basic syntax for the tail command is:

tail [options] [file_name]

Some common options in tail include:


tail file_name
tail -n 50 file_name
tail -f log_file
tail -f log_file1 log_file2 log_file3

Use Cases in Cyber Security

tail is often used by cybersecurity professionals to analyze log files, trace errors, and monitor system activities. Some common use cases include:

tail -f /var/log/auth.log
tail -n 50 /var/log/apache2/access.log
tail -f /var/log/syslog

In summary, tail is a powerful and versatile command-line utility that proves to be an invaluable resource for system administrators and cybersecurity professionals, providing real-time monitoring and analysis of log files and system activities.