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Checking Log Files

Novell Cool Solutions: Trench
By Victor Markwart

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Posted: 9 Feb 2000

Another goodie, from a friendly Australian... Thanks, Victor!

Since you were kind enough to advertise my diagnostic tool, I thought you might also like another quick and dirty one which I've put together. Someone wanted to check (text) log files for the last occurrence of an event, which was reported a few lines after the trigger event. The attached program scans through a number of files, finds a specific string, then outputs a specified number of lines to another file. If you understood that, you're doing well. You could probably use grep, but writing this was probably quicker than working out grep's syntax.

It is a 32-bit Windows command line program with the following syntax:

lineget.exe [-a] [-lx] [-mx] <-sx> [-vx] where

infilespec is the file specification of files to be acted on
outfilename is the file where the results are to be stored
[-a] output all occurances of the search string (default last)
[-lx] where x is line number after the search string to commence (default 0)
[-mx] where is is the number of lines to return (default 1)
-sx where x is the string to search for
[-vx] level of reporting (default none)

Thus if you want to search all *.txt files in a subdirectory for the last occurrence of "search string" and return the fifth through tenth lines following "search string" and output the result to a file called "fred.txt", you would use:

lineget *.txt fred.txt -l5 -m1 -s"search string"

I should warn you that some of its limitations are that

  • lines in the log/text files must be less than 1024 characters;
  • parsing and error handling are very basic or non-existent so parameters should be separated by white space
There probably are other limitations, but I can't think of them off the top of my head.

If you think that it shows promise, but needs improving, please let me know at

If there's any interest I could include things such as the ability to recurse up sub-directories, better output options, such as converting to csv or tsv from standard text files. Source code is available on a PNTL license (Promise Not To Laugh).

Download lineget.exe

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