the Command:

syslog | tail | open -ef

works perfectly on my osx 10.8.5 and opens the required lines from syslog in textEdit, however when I run

syslog | tail | open -t

which should open the same lines in my default text editing program I get nothing and just the lines --No lines in buffer--

I am using MacVim as my default text editor.

1 Answer 1


The pipe (|) connect the standard output of a program to the standard input of another program. open does not read from stdinby default but from a file given as argument. It needs the -foption to read from the standard input.

That's why your first example work but not your second one.

syslog | tail | open -tf works well.

  • I actually just figured that out, but you beat me to the answer. Thanks
    – Deesbek
    Commented Oct 11, 2013 at 20:53

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