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I know that tail -f /var/log/messages will be keep updating on screen as the contents of file gets updated. But when I tried the same thing with a debug file system's file it is not working , any idea?

I tried ftrace and tried this: tail -f trace it is not working ?

Note, I can see the contents actually getting by using watch -n1 cat trace.

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    The thing is, tail -f only works with files which are appended to. Maybe your debug file is not appended but overwritten with every run? – Sami Laine Dec 30 '13 at 12:23
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tail -f works on the file descriptor, not on the file name. If the file is being overwritten, or deleted and re-created, tail -f won't be able to track that.

In gnu tail there's the option --follow=name or -F which will track the file name rather than the inode/file descriptor.

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