SnakeTail is a Windows tail utility for monitoring growing text log files.

Feature list:

  • Monitor “large” text log files
  • Monitor Windows Event Logs (Without needing administrator rights)
  • Multiple Window Modes supported (MDI, Tabbed, Floating)
  • Save and load entire window session. Can load session file at startup when given as command line parameter.
  • Sentence highlight with colors based on keyword match (Includes regex support)
  • Quickly jump between highlighted sentences using keyboard shortcuts
  • Toggle bookmarks and quickly jump between bookmarks
  • Configure external tools and bind custom shortcut key (Trigger execute on highlight)
  • Tails circular logs where the log file is periodically truncated/renamed.
  • Tails log directory where the latest log file is displayed (Includes wildcards)
  • Search in the entire text log file (Or EventLog)
  • Highlight window tabs using icons, when file changes are detected
  • Tail new log files with a simple drag drop from Windows Explorer
  • Filtering of Windows Event Logs using regular expressions
  • Display simple process statistics in window title bar (RAM + CPU usage + TRX/Sec)
  • Stop and start Windows service by right clicking in the tail window
  • Change tail window background color
  • Change tail window text color
  • Change tail window icon
  • Minimize to tray
  • Low memory usage independent of log file size
  • Low cpu usage even when more than 100 lines/sec
  • Works well over remote desktop
  • Supports Windows 2000, XP, 2003, Vista, Win2k8, Win7
  • Requires .NET 2.0
  • GNU GPL License v3


SnakeTail Tabbed Windows

Version History:

Ver. 1.9.5

  • Add new File-Tab option to open File Explorer in Containing Folder
  • Include FileSize in the Windows Title
  • Add Open File shortcut (Ctrl+O)

Ver. 1.9.4

  • Quick jump shortcut has changed to ALT+KeyUp/KeyDown (Instead of CTRL+KeyUp/KeyDown)
  • Quick jump also works for EventLog where it jumps between Warnings and Errors
  • Toggle application as “Always on top”
  • Launch external tools on keyword match (Ex. play sound).
  • Line coloring without being ‘Alert highlight’ (Ex. color line green for success)
  • Search with wrap-around-support
  • Display current file-size in the Windows Title
  • Fixed several bugs

Ver. 1.8.2

  • Added feature to launch external tools, and also bind a custom shortcut key
  • Added feature to toggle bookmarks, and quickly jump between bookmarks
  • Changed send crash report to perform HTTP upload to
  • Fixed several bugs

Ver. 1.7.1

  • Added MSI installer packages

Ver. 1.7

  • Added Most Recent Used (MRU) list of files, that allows one to quickly reopen files
  • Added highlight of windows tabs using icons, when file changes are detected (Display tab icon on file change)
  • Added option to apply view configuration to all open views (Apply to All)
  • Added option to display the current file name in windows tab, when using rolling regex filename (Title match filename)
  • Added tooltip to windows tabs, that displays full file path
  • Display currently open session name in main window title
  • Fixed several bugs

Ver. 1.6

  • EventLog can now be searched like a normal text file.
  • Fixed several bugs

Ver. 1.5.1

  • Added keyboard shortcuts for quickly jumping between highlighted lines
  • Fixed several bugs

Ver. 1.4

  • Added reordering of tabs using drag drop
  • Added closing of tabs using the middle mouse button
  • Added restore of original position for minimized windows, when saving window session
  • Added parameter to control how often to check for log file changes (Default every 100 ms)
  • Extended command line option to tail arbitrary file (Unless it has .xml as file extension)
  • Fixed several bugs with unhandled exceptions.

Ver. 1.3

  • Added drag drop support for opening new files to tail
  • Added support for configuring default configuration when opening new files to tail (Save a session with one configured tail window as ‘SnakeTail.xml’ and place it next to the application)
  • Changed ‘Minimize to tray’ so it sticks even if double clicking the tray icon to restore from minimized state.
  • Improved handling of circular logs when file is renamed / truncated

Ver. 1.2

  • Added sentence highlight based on keyword match (Includes regex support)
  • Added support for automatic tailing the latest file in folder (Includes regex support)
  • Improved error handling when there are problems with tailing a file

Ver. 1.1

  • Added support for opening multiple files in single operation
  • Added support for Check For Updates in the Help menu
  • Added support for Send Error Report for unhandled exceptions
  • Improved error handling when attempting to open locked files
  • Skip runas dialog on Windows XP when stopping/starting service

Ver. 1.0

  • Extended “Edit”-menu in the main Window to display the context menu of the child window
  • Created new View Options-dialog to configure child window options without editing the xml file

Ver. 0.9

  • Added copy to clipboard for Windows EventLogs
  • Fixed copy to clipboard for floating windows
  • Fixed scrollbar for floating tail windows

Ver. 0.8

  • Can now also monitor Windows EventLogs (See “Open EventLog…” in the “File”-menu)
  • Can perform filtering on the Windows EventLogs (Right-click in the Event Log window)

Ver. 0.7

  • Only a single search window, that searches the active tail window
  • Can minimize to tray
  • Can store free/modeless windows in sessions
  • Can monitor admin processes without crashing
  • Can override the window icon with something from an external file (IconFile)
  • Can monitor how many times a certain text string appears every second (LogHitText)
  • Improved detection when applications closes, when run inside a debugger

Ver. 0.6

  • Fixed saving of font when saving session
  • Fixed loosing window title when minimizing just after opening file
  • Changed .NET requirement to ver. 2.0
  • Added support for display memory and cpu info for normal processes

Ver. 0.5

  • Command line support to specify session-configuration to load at startup
  • Extended session-configuration with servicename
  • Can show Service-State, CPU usage and RAM usage for the specified service
  • Can stop and start the specified service by right-clicking in the tail window

Ver. 0.4

  • Support that log file is renamed / deleted and created again
  • Session configuration file is now saved in pretty formatted xml.
  • Session configuration file now supports relative paths from where the session-file is placed
  • Pause / Break key will now stop the active window from scrolling. Press Enter-/Space-key will make it continue
  • Alternative one can press page-up several times or use the mouse to scroll up and it will stop scrolling

Ver. 0.3

  • Progress bar when opening files
  • Keeps position at bottom when resizing tail windows
  • Improved speed when searching in log windows (and added search progress bar)

Ver. 0.2

  • Faster startup
  • Possible to change text-color