I have hundreds of log files in a single directory, and I want an automated way to browse through the log files to count the number of times each command is used.

  • Log files are text files
  • There are 100+ different commands
  • they all start as "Command: " and then the name of the command.
  • It's one line per command
  • other lines should be ignored

So I'd like to know if there's a script or software that would do that and sort the results by most used commands, and display the frequency of each command. Something like statistics.

(edit: I'm on Win XP and I have no problems installing programs for this purpose)

  • @Johannes Win XP, I never used PowerShell. edited the question.
    – ino
    Jan 25, 2010 at 16:41

2 Answers 2


With Windows PowerShell you could do something along the lines of:

Get-Content *.log |
    Where-Object { $_.StartsWith('Command:') } |
    Group-Object {
        $null = $_ -match '^Command: (\w+)';
    } |
    Select-Object Name,Count

For my test file this yields an output like

Name Count
---- -----
foo      2
bar      2
baz      1

Above code simply reads the log files line by line, pushing each line through the pipeline, it then filters the lines to only use those that start with “Command:”, indicating a command to follow. Then those lines are grouped into the individual commands. This is done by the regular expression

 ^Command: (\w+)

which matches the string “Command:” at the start of the line, followed by one or more word characters. This assumes the command name follows the colon and space immediately; adjust the regex accordingly if this is not the case. The command name is captured in a capture group which is used for grouping. After that only the name and frequency of the commands are selected.

The $null = part for the match is to suppress the output of the -match operator which would return always True here. We don't want to group by True bar but only by bar.

ETA: Depending on how exactly your input looks, you might want to tweak things a bit.

  • Allow empty commands:

     ^Command: (\w*)
  • Allow arbitrary non-space characters in command names (and empty commands):

     ^Command: ([^ ]*)
  • This works great, but when the "Command: " is empty or starts with an asterisk, it gives an error. Other than that it's perfect. any ideas on that?
    – ino
    Jan 25, 2010 at 17:20
  • @ume: Well, without details on how exactly your lines look this was a bit of guessing. To allow empty commands, replace the + in the regular expression by an asterisk *. To allow for more characters you can replace the \w by a dot . but that might match too much ... if spaces terminate your command names, then you can use [^ ] (note the space within the brackets) as a replacement for \w.
    – Joey
    Jan 25, 2010 at 17:27

What OS?

This isn't a perfect match to your requirement, but...

grep -i -c Command *.log

will get you the number of occurrences broken down by file. You could then parse that output to get your totals. Dump it to a text file and pull it into Excel or something. Not hugely difficult, but admittedly not completely automated either. I often find that I spend more time searching for a completely automated solution than I do using something like this... You can get grep for Windows using cygwin.

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