Windows Tales


Quick tip – How to quickly read just the last lines of a huge text file

Quick tip – How to quickly read just the last lines of a huge text file

If you’re a developer or a systems administrator, sooner or later you will meet that HUUUGE, GIANT, ENORMOUS file. A file that weights several gigabytes of more or less cryptic system or application logging messages, with no rotation scheme in place. Since log files are usually built by appending the most recent information to the end, probably you just need to check out the last 100 or 1000 lines, in order to find out why an application has crashed or failed to operate properly some seconds or a minute ago. Turns out that reading such huge files may not be as simple as editing them in Notepad. Probably, an application like that won’t even be able to the file. So, what else can you do?
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