current and stable version: 1.6.2

  1. Is Xlogmaster still being developed?
  2. What is Xlogmaster ?
  3. What's new in the current release ?
  4. Supported Platforms
  5. Obtaining Xlogmaster
  6. Getting Help with Xlogmaster
  7. Further Information & Links:

Is Xlogmaster still being developed?

This project has been reopened for maintenance and further development. Feel free to forward suggestions and other enhancements to the list. Thank you to the original efforts of Georg C. F. Greve (currently doing work for the FSF in Europe.)

What is Xlogmaster ?

If you are in a hurry, here is the ultra-short version:

Xlogmaster is a program that lets you monitor everything that's going on on your system in a very quick and comfortable way. It allows reading logfiles, devices or running status-gathering programs, translating all data (if wished) and displaying it with filters for highlithing / lowlighting / hiding lines or taking actions upon user-defined events.

For those who'd like to know more, here is an introduction into the features:

Based on the standard UN*X commands that perform similar tasks the modes are called:

TAIL-Mode: Xlogmaster will read the file and then check back in regular intervals (default: 0.3 seconds) whether anything has changed - practically the same functionality you got with "tail -f" but just much nicer to handle and look at. If you monitor more than two logfiles it makes things much easier already.

CAT-Mode: This mode keeps on "catting" the file/device you have given it in user defined intervals. The first thing that will probably come to your mind now is: "Cool ! I can keep track of all the /proc devices that are of interest for me." (didn't it ? :-) ) Whatever - I really like this mode.

RUN-Mode: The run mode allows starting a program and retrieving it's stdout. This allows you to write a shellscript/program to gather any data that's important for you and monitor the output in Xlogmaster - with all the features Xlogmaster has.

The retrieved information may then be piped through a plugin - the plugins take the data on stdin and output it to stdout which is being read by Xlogmaster again. This enables you to translate cryptic logfiles or extracting information in a special way.

After reading the data from the TAIL/CAT/RUN modes (and piping it through the plugin if wished) it can then be processed in certain ways. The obvious one is displaying it in the text window. To make this more comfortable you can define filters that allow you to raise, lower or hide lines on a extended REGEX match.

Since version 1.3.0 Xlogmaster supports background monitoring, as well - you can define filters that trigger certain actions based on a case-insensitive substring match. The entry does not need to be active for that.

George invented a classification for the filters to help show how they work on different levels. The Class0 filters are filters that are applied at display-time and the Class1 filters are used in the background. Implemented filters are:

 All matches are extended REGEX matches. See GNU REGEX manual for reference.

  • CLASS0: only one of the Class0 filters can be applied on a line. Usually the first applicable match is being taken. The only exception is "Hide" - if it can be applied the line will be hidden even if it also matches another Class0 filter.
  • Raise: a line is being highlighted on a match
  • Lower: a line is being lowlighted on a match
  • Hide: a line is being hidden on a match
  • CLASS1: all of the Class1 filters than can be applied are being applied so theoretically a single line can trigger all filters and maybe even several times. All Class1 filters also trigger a user chosen sound when being triggered so the user also gets an audio-warning.
  • Alert: the button for the logfile flashes up in a user-defined color (default is red) and slowly fades back to it's normal color within a given time span. The idea is that occurrences that are only of interest for a certain timespan don't trigger the buttons to be all red if you leave the keyboard for a few hours.
  • Notice: a notice box will pop up at the current mouse position showing you the name of the entry and the line that triggered the alarm together with the date the notice has been triggered. The notice box contains a list so nothing will get lost. The box will be cleared and disappear if you click on the "dismiss" button - but only then, so events that were very important will always be brought to your notice even if you have been afk for days.
  • Uniconify: Xlogmaster will uniconify automatically if this event is being triggered. Useful for people with limited desktop space who prefer to keep Xlogmaster iconified.
  • Execute: a user-given program is being executed on a match. Some useful default scripts are contained in the distribution but you can easily write your own ones, as well. For this purpose Xlogmaster supplies some variables (name of entry, helptext for entry, line that triggered execution, absolute path to file/device, mode of entry (TAIL/CAT)).

  • What's new in the current release ?

    Since there are a lot of changes usually only the most important ones are being listed here.

    Stable tree 1.6.x:

  • Supported Platforms

    First of all: You will definitely need the GTK+ toolkit version 1.2.x if you didn't install it already. Apart from that there is no reason why it shouldn't work on all UN*X systems. Until now I did not receive any mail telling me that Xlogmaster did not install fine.

    The following list shows all systems we have positive knowledge about from users who got Xlogmaster running without major problems. If your system is not on the list and you are successful with the installation I'd like you to send a short mail to xlogmaster-bugs@gnu.org so I can include your system in this list.

    Existing Ports

    Some systems people have already configured the Xlogmaster package to fit their system/distribution best. If you are running one of those systems you might consider installing the ported version instead of the original one because it will probably be even easier to install and will cause Xlogmaster to be installed "the standard way" for your system without you having to worry about it. Ports exist for the following systems:powerpc If you happen to maintain a port for a system not on this list you can send me a mail with the HTML address (text preferred but I can include FTP addresses in case there is nothing else available) to xlogmaster-bugs@gnu.org and I will include it here.

    Obtaining Xlogmaster

    You can download Xlogmaster from the gnu.org FTP site at http://ftp.gnu.org/pub/gnu/ or one of it's mirrors.

    Additionally you should be able to find it on ftp://sunsite.unc.edu/pub/gnu/ or one of it's mirrors.

    For "still hot and steaming" development versions fresh out of the running development you might want to check out the development page.

    If you would like to know whether someone already configured the package to fit your system best you should take a look at the Existing Ports list.

    Also see the software page for information on obtaining Xlogmaster and other GNU software.

    Getting Help with Xlogmaster

    If you have a question about Xlogmaster in general, about help for including it in some project or distribution you can send a mail to xlogmaster-bugs@gnu.org. If the question has been answered in the tutorial, the manpage or on this page, though, the answer will most probably contain several R's, T's, F's and M's.

    Information on getting help with GNU software in general is available at the Get Help with GNU Software page.


    There are a few documents about Xlogmaster:

    The Tutorial and the FAQ are still far from being complete... I would rather see them as a start. Comments and suggestions are always welcome.

    Mailing Lists

    There are two mailing lists for Xlogmaster you can subscribe to:

    How to Report Bugs

    All bug reports go to xlogmaster-bugs@gnu.org - the bug report should contain:

    Further Information & Links:

    Here is some more information in case you still haven't had enough:

    What does Xlogmaster look like ?

    Since it would be rude and not in the GNU policy to crowd this page with screenshots, you can go the separate screenshot page where you will get several thumbnails you can click on to get the full picture.

    What will the future bring ?

    Have a look at the current developments on the development page. You will also find links to download the latest beta-versions there.

    Return to GNU's home page.

    Please send FSF & GNU inquiries & questions to gnu@gnu.org. There are also other ways to contact the FSF.

    Please send comments on these web pages to John@gaythorpe.net, send other questions to gnu@gnu.org.

    Copyright (C) 1998,1999 Georg C. F. Greve, 2004, 2012 John S. Gaythorpe - Xlogmaster is a GNU program

    Free Software Foundation, Inc., 59 Temple Place - Suite 330, Boston, MA 02111, USA

    Verbatim copying and distribution of this entire article is permitted in any medium, provided this notice is preserved.

    Updated: Last modified: Mar 11, 2012