Is there any alternative to Windows' Baretail?

What I am looking for is a graphical Baretail? Actually, I don't really care that it is graphical but I want to be able to have colors (lines with ERROR in red, lines with WARNING in yellow and so on...) And I want it to behave like a "perfect" tail -f command meaning that I want it to be non-invasive (does not prevent the file deletion). But always on the watch (if a file is deleted, and recreated and re-written in it then the tool would just start showing it again).

In any case, any tool that does a better graphical interpretation of tail -f is welcome.

  • Added an up vote. Hope that bumps this somehow. I'm desperate for something OSX-native with the features of bare tail. May 27, 2012 at 22:06

5 Answers 5



Install with

brew install multitail

enter image description here


I've been using "Console" as a general log viewer. (Comes with the Mac as a system utility)

You can open up files and it'll act like tail but then also has filter abilities. No color coding (that i'm aware of)...

  • Sadly console doesn't seem to be high performance in dealing with big files, whereas baretail on Windows handles it pretty well.
    – David
    Aug 11, 2022 at 6:11

This is an alternative, Glogg, and it is expected to be released for Mac soon.

I couldn't find much more than this.

  • Yeah thanks.I guess I'm gonna have to stick with the good old tail -f in the Terminal :D
    – ptpdlc
    Jul 12, 2011 at 21:03
  • It's been two years and that page still says "A Mac OS X version is also expected soon." LOL. At least it's open source, so this remains an answer for anybody willing to do some additional heavy lifting :) Sep 13, 2013 at 13:04
  • I'm a huge fan of BareTail and have recently made the switch over to linux. For anyone that stumbles across this in the future it seems to be the closest thing to BareTail that I've found in my searches. It even has the regex matching for line highlighting and all that.
    – Frito
    Mar 15, 2014 at 15:00

While it does not do colorization, if you use tail -F (big F as opposed to little f), the tail activity will continue following a file if it's deleted and/or truncated and replaced with a new file of the same name.

Verbatim from the tail(1) man page:

The -F option implies the -f option, but tail will also check to see if the file being followed has been renamed or rotated. The file is closed and reopened when tail detects that the filename being read from has a new inode number. The -F option is ignored if reading from standard input rather than a file.


I know this is an old question but finally a more modern one is under development. See Tail Blazer

Disclaimer: this is an open source project and I am the developer

  • Upvoted as it does answer the question. However, please keep in mind it's a good Stackexchange custom to disclose an affiliation with a product recommendation to maintain a certain objectivity. Please state in your answer that you have developed this application. Thank you! Nov 22, 2015 at 16:49
  • OMG! ...Mind Blown...
    – oikonomopo
    Feb 11, 2016 at 12:03
  • 2
    However, this seems to be a windows only software...
    – mperrin
    Jun 14, 2016 at 14:45
  • This site is about Mac, so I assume you mean to say non-Windows users should run and build this using Mono's .NET runtime? I don't think *nix and Mac can use chocolatey for getting the prebuilt .NET binary.
    – David
    Aug 11, 2022 at 6:09

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