Super User is a question and answer site for computer enthusiasts and power users. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

Is there any log viewer application for OS X out there, which is a little bit more "fancy" than tail? Say, with some highlighting capabilities and filtering?

The only one I found was KIWI, but I was not very happy, because it seemed to be a bit slow and pushed stack traces far out to the right side.

share|improve this question

migrated from Aug 8 '11 at 19:48

This question came from our site for professional programmers interested in conceptual questions about software development.

less -F is useful in (or key F in less) – Thorbjørn Ravn Andersen Aug 8 '11 at 20:17
up vote 27 down vote accepted

Have you looked at the "Console" application that's already installed on your Mac under /Applications/Utilities/ Its entire job is to display the various log files, and it's definitely "a little bit more 'fancy' than tail".

enter image description here

share|improve this answer
Great screen shot! How did you catch the shadow - white background? – trolle3000 Aug 9 '11 at 5:53
Although it lacks highlighting, it seems to be quite fast and the filtering works nice. – Elbonian Aug 10 '11 at 8:21
You can capture a window in Mac OS X by triggering the 'save picture of selected area as a file' (shift-command-4 usually) then pressing space. – JP. Feb 12 '13 at 11:36

Another nice piece of software for viewing logs is Logr. It allows you to highlight lines based on substrings.

share|improve this answer
I'm not happy with it! It doesn't put line numbers on log lines. It doesn't fold them over when they exceed the window width (so I cannot see the entire log line) and it doesn't seem to have a horizontal scroll bar! – Saqib Ali Jul 1 '14 at 17:49
It's doing the job nicely for me, especially given the price - free. – Kong Dec 11 '14 at 21:48

You might also like the cross-platform multitail. It's an ncurses-based console application which has great searching/filtering support. I especially like merging several files into one and coloring files by applying regular expressions. Also, being console-based, you can easily use it over SSH.

share|improve this answer

The Log File Navigator for Mac and Linux seems like a great solution. It uses command line and provides the following features:

  • Automatic highlights
  • SQL queries for logs
  • Formatting and pretty-printing


share|improve this answer

Just an aside, for whoever else (like me) happens upon this question.

A good solution is textwrangler! The file will autoupdate while open with textwrangler, which is an unexpected but nice feature, and a separate use for an otherwise strong text editor.

share|improve this answer
For log viewing I am missing ability to highlight occurrences of multiple texts in a file in TextWrangler. Did I perhaps overlook a way to do it? Also marking occurrences in scroll bar would be helpful. Because of lack of these two features I am looking for alternative for log viewing. – Michal Jan 22 '15 at 12:04

This question is fairly old, but I thought I would mention about the LogTail app for Mac OS X (10.10+) as it will probably suit your needs. It is not free, but is fairly cheap and available in the Mac App Store now.

It provides filter and highlight capabilities and also remote log file viewing (over SSH), bookmarking, search, share etc. It is a definitely a step-up from Console.

Here is a screenshot of the main interface:

LogTail document window

Disclaimer: I'm the developer of the LogTail app

share|improve this answer
Is there any support for listening to a udp port, as opposed to tailing a log file? – Dave Jun 1 at 21:37
No sorry @Dave. You may want to look at [wireshark] ( which can capture and analyze tcp and udp packets... – Murali Jun 3 at 10:06
yep. Just looking for a replacement for Log2Console on the mac side. I found that udp listener nice. – Dave Jun 3 at 18:53

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .