Reading Time: 3 minutes
I’ve been working on a servers running Windows 2003 and Windows 2008 these days.
As I wanted to be more flexible on what I can do from the command line I decided to install GNUwin (provides port of GNU tools), most of which are common part of any Linux distribution).
Having most of the command line flexibility on a Windows server is a great thing, so I would strongly recommend GNUWin to any Windows server adminsitrator out there.
Actually it’s a wonderful thing that most of the popular Linux tools can easily be installed and used on Windows for more check GnuWin32 on sourceforge
One of the reasons I installed Gnuwin was my intention to use the good old Linux tail command to keep an eye interactive on the IIS server access log files, which by the way for IIS webserver are stored by default in C:WindowsSystem32LogFilesW3SVC1*.log
I’ve managed to install the GNUWin following the install instructions, not with too much difficulties. The install takes a bit of time, cause many packs containing different parts of the GNUWin has to be fetched.
To install I downloaded the GNUWin installer available from GNUWin32’s website and instructed to extracted the files into C:Program FilesGnuwin
Then I followed the install instructions suggestions, e.g.:
C:> cd c:Program FilesGnuWin
C:Program FilesGnuWin> download.bat
C:Program FilesGnuWin> install c:gnuwin32
After the installation was succesfully completed on the two Windows machines, both of which by the way are running 64 bit Windows, it was necessery to add the newly installed GNU .exe files to my regular cmd.exe PATH variable in order to be able to access the sed, tail and the rest of the gnuwin32 command line tools.
In order to add C:GnuWin32bin directory to the windows defined Command line Path , I had to do the following:
a. Select (Properties) for My Computer
Start (button) -> My Computer (choose properties)
b. Select the My Computer Advanced (tab)
Then, from the My Computer pane press on Advanced tab
c. Next press on Environment Variables
You see in above’s screenshot the Environment Variables config dialog, to add the new path location in System Variables sectiom, between the list I had to add the c:GNUwin32bin path locatiion. To find I pressed on Edit button scrolled down to find the Variable and hence added at the end of the long list defined paths.
After adding in GNUwin, the Windows path looks like this:
C:Program Files (x86)EWANAPI;C:WINDOWSsystem32;C:WINDOWS;C:WINDOWSSystem32Wbem;C:Program Files (x86)IntelNGSMSMPFiles;C:Program Files (x86)Microsoft SQL Server100ToolsBinn;C:Program FilesMicrosoft SQL Server100ToolsBinn;C:Program FilesMicrosoft SQL Server100DTSBinn;C:Program Files (x86)Microsoft SQL Server100ToolsBinnVSShellCommon7IDE;C:Program Files (x86)Microsoft Visual Studio 9.0Common7IDEPrivateAssemblies;C:Program Files (x86)Microsoft SQL Server100DTSBinn;C:WINDOWSsystem32WindowsPowerShellv1.0;C:gnuwin32bin
Further on, I launched the tail command to intercatively take an eye on who is accessing the IIS webserver.
Sadly this worked not, trying to use tail with the IIS ex10116.log log;
C:WindowsSystem32LogfilesW3SVC1> tail -f ex10116.log
Spit an error tail: ex10116.log: Bad file descriptor
Since I couldn’t use tail -f I looked for alternative and a quick search led me to Tail 4 Win32 . Lest the name suggests it is supposed to work on 32 bit arch Windows the version on tailforwin32’s website is working perfectly fine on 64 bit Windows as well.
What it does is to simulate a normal tail -f command inside a very simplistic window interface. You see it in action with opened IIS log on below’s screenshot:
Finally my goal is achieved and I can take an eye interactively on IIS logs. End of the article, hope it wasn’t too boring 😉