GLOV a log file viewer
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GLOV a log viewer

GLOV (GUI'less LOg Viewer) is an open source console based log and text file viewing utility. If you routinely find yourself using less and tail on log files while you are shh'ed to a remote machine, then glov is a utility that will interest you. Its purpose is to provide a rich set of viewing, searching, and filtering features that are missing in tail and less. Features like bookmarking, filtering, and intelligently highlighting log blocks make it easier to work with large log files with lots of exception traces.

Designed out of the need to have a command line log file viewer that would give me ability to view a file, search it, show line numbers, set bookmarks, and monitor it in real time. Something like less is great, but if I want to monitor the file, I always found myself using line numbers when I needed to see if the file changed, which is problematic if I don't remember the line number. Using tail -f is great for monitoring a file, and if you hit enter a few times, it effectively marks the location so you can continue to monitor the file, and know where you marked it. But neither are ideal. Something that will let me bounce around the file, bookmark locations, and monitor is what is really needed.

Although the idea of using something like splunk is great in theory, in practice a lot of enterprises don't use it for all their apps, which leaves the developers needing to use some combination of ssh+less+tail. Hence the desire for something that combines the best of both tools, but add some additional features.

Garifled is written in Java. Since Java doesn't provide the ability to monitor the keyboard for individual keypresses, and can't control a terminal in *nix or Windows, Garfield utilizes NConsole for it's low level console i/o. Under Linix and macOS, this means it uses ncursors. Under windows it uses native windows console API.

Note: Windows support isn't in place yet. Plan is to use the same methods as on *nix systems.


Deployment could use some work, sorry. Grab all the files in the dist folder, copy to your bin folder, or somewhere in your path, then run the script.




$ glov filename

Filename is the text file you want to view.


Keys are meant to be a little like less.

Key Action
h Help Keymap
q Quit
k / Up Up
j / Down Down
K / PG Up Page Up
J / PG Down Page Down
[ / Left Scroll Left
] / Right Scroll Right (right arrow)
{ Scroll to the first letter of line
} Scroll to the last letter of line
f Follow
r Reload
m Set bookmark
b Next bookmark
B Prev bookmark
o Toggle showing line numbers
/ Search
? Regular expression search
n Search next
N Search previous
c Toggle ignore case (default ignore)
g Goto specified line

Not yet implemented:

Key Action
& Display only matching lines


Explanation of features.


Regular search, regex search. After doing a search, you can turn filter mode on to show only matching lines.


Follow the file. Best for monitoring files in real time. Any changes to the file will be shown, and the bottom of the file is always in view.

You can set bookmarks while in follow mode.

Like tail -f or less +F.


Reloads the file from disk. Position in file, and any bookmarks are preserved.


Search history. When you hit the up arrow, it will show previous queries. Down will show the next query. When it goes past the last one, a blank line is shows.

Line editor. Allows you to edit the query you are working on. You can use the left/right arrows to move around in the query. Backspace and delete buttons will delete charaters.

Multiple file support

Ability to show and monitor multiple files. Multiple files will be shown as a split screen. Initial versions will handle window resizing automatically, but later revs will allow the user to control the window size.

When follow mode is active, all windows are set to follow mode. Later revs will allow the user to choose to activate only active file, or optionally all files.

Could use the number keys to select what file to activate. Then you can have support for 9 files, if you use 0 to close a file.


See nconsole for Java Native Interface (JNI) library.