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I have a program that for each run generates a new log file. To watch what's going on, I'd like to tail -f the log - only problem is that I don't actually know the file name in advance.

So, is there a way to follow all files that match a certain (shell glob) pattern? I guess I could easily script something like this, but I'm wondering if there's already a solution out there.

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Possible duplicate superuser.com/questions/181517/… –  Peter Lundgren Nov 1 '12 at 12:40
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up vote 2 down vote accepted

I don't think there's a direct way to do with with tail without knowing the name - if you knew that then tail --follow=name --retry would work and it would wait for the file to appear and then start following it.

I'd suggest writing a little shell script that uses inotifywait to watch for the file appearing and then starts tail -f to follow it.

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