Linux Mint

How to Install MultiTail Utility on Linux Mint 21

Viewing multiple log files simultaneously becomes difficult as one must use tail command in Linux as one can open log files in multiple windows. Log files are normally read for troubleshooting any issue in the Linux system as sometimes it becomes mandatory to read a log file and look for any live changes.

MultiTail is a command line tool that proves to be an effective tool for viewing the multiple log files as it comes with several features like multiple files in one window with different colors highlighting the last line of the file and many more. Anyways read this guide if you want to install MultiTail on Linux mint 21 as it explains the installation process along with some of its useful commands.

Installing MultiTail on Linux Mint 21

As mentioned above MultiTail is a command line tool that is used to view multiple log files of Linux system, to install it follow the subsequent steps:

Step 1: To make the installation trouble free it is always advisable to update the packages list using:

$ sudo apt update

Step 2:  Now install MultiTail command line log file viewer tool using:

$ sudo apt-get install multitail

Step 3: Just to be sure that MultiTail is correctly installed use the following command:

$ multitail -v

Using MultiTail on Linux Mint 21

There are different ways to read log files using the MultiTail tool and those are:

Viewing single file: To view a single log file just give the path of that file using MultiTail command:

$ multitail <file_path>

For example, to open the auth.log file can be opened using the multail command by stating its path:

$ multitail /var/log/auth.log

Viewing multiple files: To View multiple log files add the paths of the file using the MultiTail command:

$ multitail <file1_path> <file2_path> <fileN_path>

For instance, if I want to view auth file, dpkg file and kernel log altogether then:

$ multitail /var/log/auth.log /var/log/dpkg.log /var/log/kern.log

If you want to make the partitions vertically then try the below syntax:

$ multitail -s <number_of_log_files> <file1_path> <file2_path> <file3_path>

For example, to divide the terminal window vertically to see the auth file, dpkg file and kernel file use:

$ multitail -s 3 /var/log/auth.log /var/log/dpkg.log /var/log/kern.log

Moreover, to select between the windows press b/B from the keyboard and to close the log file press q/Q from the keyboard. Another feature that comes with MultiTail is that one can change the color of the of the text in the log file using:

$ multitail -s <number_of_log_files> -ci <color_name> <file1_path> -ci <color_name> <file2_path> -ci <color_name> <file3_path>

For example, if I want to give the windows color like yellow red and blue then:

$ multitail -s 3 -ci yellow /var/log/auth.log -ci red /var/log/dpkg.log -ci blue /var/log/kern.log


To read big multiple files such as log files on your Linux system there are various tools but MultiTail tools seems to be the best tool as it is easy to install and comes with several features. It can be installed simply by using the apt package manager the process of which is mentioned in this guide.

About the author

Aaliyan Javaid

I am an electrical engineer and a technical blogger. My keen interest in embedded systems has led me to write and share my knowledge about them.