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Looking for a windows application to parse and filter large volumes of text

Looking for a lean windows application that will let me search through very large log files efficiently for specific error keywords, ideally with the ability to filter such keywords.

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Please don't open or post duplicate questions. –  Brent Pabst Sep 10 '12 at 12:54
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migrated from productivity.stackexchange.com Sep 8 '12 at 7:11

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marked as duplicate by Shane Madden, Ward, Michael Hampton, HopelessN00b Genius of network, Brent Pabst Sep 10 '12 at 12:54

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3 Answers

You'll want something that can do regular expressions - but I agree that this is a superuser/serverfault question...

EDIT - mainly I would install cygwin and use tools like grep. The *nix command line is remarkably powerful for such activities - particularly when you can script them together - or use a scripting language like python or perl.

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I would use Python, a powerful but unintimidating scripting language. It may be as simple for you as something like:

log = open("file.log")
for line in log:
    if "Error" in line:
        print line
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If you are planning to do this once, you could probably get away with grep and regular expressions.

You don't mention the operating system, so that makes things a bit more difficult to answer very precisely.

Grep is present on Unix/Linux, but you could also get it on Windows with Cygwin. Or there is a lot of other tools that support regular expressions for splitting and recombining things, starting from Perl

Specifically on Windows, you could look at PowerShell that has a bit of a learning curve but is very powerful. You can see the discussion on StackOverflow around it.

Also on Windows, there is a LogParser which is oldie but goodie and designed specifically for logs. Hanselman's article could be a good introduction.

Finally, if you need something with a lot more power for more permanent infrastructure, you could look at LogStash and/or Graylog. There is an article explaining the setup for both.

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