what's new?
this is version 1.2. the major additions in this release are jython support, allow/deny filters, and the --tty flag to avoid coloring when non-terminal output is detected. thank you to hisham muhammad for suggesting the --tty flag.

here is another sample config file. i use this one to color my system logs and my apache logs. it may be directly useful to some people, but at the very least it serves as an example of how to do something "real"... i'll probably add a screenshot later.

finally, here is a user-submitted config file intended for php log output. if you plan to use mtail with php, this looks like a great starting point. many thanks to boyska for sending this in!

mtail is a small tail workalike that performs output coloring using ansi escape sequences (although the sequences are overridable, so you could cause it to output something else, e.g. html font tags, if you really wanted to). mtail is written in python, is fairly small, and should be relatively platform-independent.

it has a config file that can contain an arbitrary number of entries, each of which has a series of regular expressions to indicate which files to color according to which entry. for each entry, the config file specifies a coloring scheme using regular expressions and, optionally, filters to apply to each line before coloring (for example, to strip out extra info, etc.). the config file also may override the predefined colors and the escape sequences (or whatever) actually used to perform the coloring. for details see the sample config file.

mtail was inspired primarily by my dissatisfaction with colortail, which was written in c++, but i have since seen several other similar utilities, mostly in python, most notably generic colouriser and pctail. i believe that mtail offers various advantages over each of these other tools, including ease of configurability, lack of odd command-line options, and overall simplicity.

for further information, see the README.

<matt at immute dot net> modified 7.8.2016