Skip to content
CloudWatch Logs Tail
Branch: master
Clone or download
Latest commit 3179947 Mar 6, 2019
Type Name Latest commit message Commit time
Failed to load latest commit information.

CloudWatch Logs Tail

(C) Kenneth Falck <> 2015-2019, licensed under the MIT license


This is a simple tool for viewing Amazon AWS CloudWatch Logs on the command line.

CloudWatch Logs are stored in a simple hierarchy:

Log Group
 +-- Log Stream
      +-- Record

When you specify the log group, cwtail will attempt to read the latest log streams in that group, and then outputs their latest records. If the -f option is specified, cwtail then waits forever for more log records (or log streams) to appear and outputs them.

Installation and usage

Assuming that you have already installed and configured AWS CLI previously, you can start using cwtail immediately with no configuration:

npm install -g cwtail
cwtail -l

The -l option will list all existing log groups. Assuming you have a Lambda function that writes logs to the /aws/lambda/MyFunction log group, you can start tailing the logs with the following command:

cwtail -f /aws/lambda/MyFunction

The command will show the last 30 log records and then wait for more to appear. If you invoke your Lambda function again, you should see more output within ~10 seconds.

Advanced options

By default, cwtail outputs only the plain log messages in chronological order. You can use some additional options to show extra information.

Use the -s option to output the CloudWatch log stream names in between log records, whenever a new log stream is shown:

cwtail -sf /aws/lambda/MyFunction

Use the -t option to output timestamps in front of each log record:

cwtail -tf /aws/lambda/MyFunction

Use the -n option to specify how many log records should be initially shown:

cwtail -n 1 -f /aws/lambda/MyFunction

Records added by the CloudWatch Logs Agent may not end with an end-of-line sequence. Use the -e option to print the platform's end-of-line sequence after each log record:

cwtail -e /var/log/syslog


The easiest way to configure cwtail is to install AWS CLI ( and configure it. The configuration is stored in ~/.aws and will be automatically used.

If you use multiple AWS profiles to access multiple AWS accounts, you can specify the profile with the AWS_PROFILE environment variable or with the -p option:

cwtail -p myprofile -f /aws/lambda/MyFunction
You can’t perform that action at this time.