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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


.. image::
:alt: Tail

.. image::
:alt: Tail | Grep

.. image::
:alt: Tail | Awk


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

.. code-block:: bash

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

Alternatively, it can be installed manually:

.. code-block:: bash

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


To get started with *tailon* you give it a list of files that you wish
to monitor:

.. code-block:: bash

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

If at least one of the specified files is readable by the current user,
tailon will start listening on http://localhost:8080 .

Tailon's server-side functionality is 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 (not implemented yet)
- '/var/log/cron*'

Usage with nginx

Two things need be done in order to get tailon running with nginx:

1) Run tailon, binding it to localhost and specifiying a relative
root of your liking. Example::

.. code-block:: bash

$ tailon -f /var/log/nginx/* -b localhost:8084 -r '/tailon/'

2) Add the following location directives to ``nginx.conf``::

location /tailon/ws {
proxy_pass http://localhost:8084/tailon/ws;
proxy_http_version 1.1;
proxy_set_header Upgrade $http_upgrade;
proxy_set_header Connection "upgrade";

location /tailon {
proxy_pass http://localhost:8084;


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).


- My longterm goal is to bring as many ideas from multitail_ into
tailon as possible.

- Windows/FreeBSD support. While tailon runs on these platforms, the
availability and functionality of Coreutils may prevent tailon
from working as expected. Including a cross-platform Python
version of tail and grep will guarantee a set of functionality
available to all platforms.

- Tabbed interface.

- Visual/Audible alarms on log activity.

- Interface themes.

Similar Projects

- clarity_
- errorlog_
- ``_


- Tailon's favicon was created from this_ icon.


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

.. _multitail:
.. _clarity:
.. _errorlog:
.. _``:
.. _this:
.. _sandbox:
.. _`New BSD License`:

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