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webapp for looking at and searching through log files

Project description

Tailon is a self-hosted web application for looking at and searching through log files. It is little more than a fancy web wrapper around the following unix commands:

tail -f
tail -f | grep
tail -f | awk
tail -f | sed

Tailon is under development.


Tail Tail | Grep Tail | Awk


The latest stable version of tailon is available on pypi, while the development version can be installed from github:

$ pip install tailon  # stable version
$ pip install git+git://  # development version

Alternatively, it can be installed manually:

$ git clone
$ cd tailon
$ git reset --hard HEAD $versiontag
$ python install


To get started with tailon you only need to point it to the files that you wish to see in the web interface:

$ tailon -f /var/log/nginx/* /var/log/apache/{access,error}.log

Once this is done, visit http://localhost:8080 with your browser.

Tailon’s server-side functionality is succinctly documented in its help message:

$ tailon --help
Usage: tailon [-c path] [-f path [path ...]] [-h] [-d] [-v] [-b addr:port]
              [-r path] [-a]

Tailon is a webapp for looking at and searching through log files.

Required arguments:
  -c, --config path            yaml config file
  -f, --files path [path ...]  list of files or file wildcards to expose

Optional arguments:
  -h, --help                   show this help message and exit
  -d, --debug                  show debug messages
  -v, --version                show program's version number and exit
  -b, --bind addr:port         listen on the specified address and port
  -r, --relative-root path     web app root path
  -a, --allow-transfers        allow file downloads

Example config file:
  bind:      # address and port to bind on
  allow-transfers: true   # allow file downloads
  relative-root: /tailon  # web app root path (default: '')

    - '/var/log/messages'
    - '/var/log/nginx/*.log'
    - '/var/log/xorg.[0-10].log'
    - 'cron':             # sub-section
        - '/var/log/cron*'


Tailon runs commands on the server it is installed on. While commands that accept a script (eg. awk, sed, grep) should be invulnerable to shell injection, they may still allow for arbitrary command execution and/or access to the filesystem. To clarify, the following sed script - 's/a/b';cat /etc/passwd' - will result in an error as the command is not invoked through a shell. On the other hand, r /etc/passwd is a perfectly valid sed script that has the same effect as the above attempt for a shell injection.

The default set of enabled commands - tail, grep and awk - should be safe to use. Awk is ran in sandbox mode, which prevents scripts from accessing your system (either through the system() builtin or through input redirection).

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Tailon is released under the terms of the New BSD License.

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