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Re: tail +n does not work under Linux?

From: Matthew Woehlke
Subject: Re: tail +n does not work under Linux?
Date: Thu, 07 May 2009 12:49:16 -0500
User-agent: Mozilla/5.0 (X11; U; Linux x86_64; en-US; rv: Gecko/20090320 Fedora/ Thunderbird/ Mnenhy/

Christophe LYON wrote:

I am using coreutils-7.2, and I have just reproduced the issue with 7.3, under Linux RHEL 3 and 4.

Also with Fedora 10's 6.12 package. The behavior change I think may have been in 6.0 (it is probably in the changelog).

I do remember that change, but I also thought that it had been reverted a few releases later.

-<number> seems to work presently, +<number> doesn't.

Curiously, it works OK under Solaris 8.
Are you talking about GNU coreutils here, or the Solaris tail? If the behavior is different for GNU coreutils, that is probably a bug.

Yes, GNU coreutils built under Solaris.

Hmm. That sounds suspiciously like a bug, then. I don't think the behavior should be different across platforms. (Time for one of the maintainers to chime in...)

But 'man tail' says:
       -n, --lines=N
output the last N lines, instead of the last 10; or use +N to output lines starting with the Nth

does it mean that '-n' is mandatory before a number? I interpreted it as '-number'.

I read it as, yes, -n is still required (but agree it isn't as clear as it might be), especially given the blurb in the info doc. IOW I read '+N' as replacing 'N', not as replacing '-n N' or '--lines=N'.

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