I am trying to use Tramp with auto-revert-tail-mode to perform a tail of a remote log. Every time the log updates (which is often), the screen briefly jumps to the bottom of the file and then back to my current location in the file. Is there a way to prevent these frequent jumps? I simply want to be able to browse and search the most updated version of the file, but without being sent to the bottom of the file during every update.

Also, is there any way to quiet/silence the frequent updates in the status bar? "Tramp inserting:..." "Tramp encoding:...."

1 Answer 1


auto-revert-tail-mode is great, but it has its limits. Therefore I prefer to use an asynchronous shell command. Open the remote directory in dired, position the cursor to the file you want to watch, and apply ! tail -f * &.

If you want to suppress Tramp messages, decrease the verbosity. (setq tramp-verbose 1) shall be sufficient.

  • This is a great solution. If I try then to tail an additional file in a different buffer Emacs responds, "A command is running. Kill it?" . Is there any way to run multiple buffers with such an Async Shell Command?
    – ChaimKut
    Sep 1, 2015 at 11:05
  • 1
    You must rename the *Async Shell Command* buffer. Move the cursor somewhere in the buffer, and apply M-x rename-buffer. Sep 1, 2015 at 15:17
  • How can I do that sequence (! tail -f * &) in a lisp function in which I provide the name of the remote file?
    – Diogo
    Sep 19, 2017 at 18:49
  • My temporary hack: (start-process-shell-command <process-name> <buufer-name> "ssh <use>r@<host> 'cd /path/to/folder && tail -f <filename>")
    – Diogo
    Sep 19, 2017 at 19:12
  • Try adding (setf async-shell-command-buffer 'rename-buffer) to your .emacs file. It should then rename the existing async command buffer and then make the new one
    – Baggers
    Jun 29, 2018 at 12:55

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