How is SynTail different from UNIX/Linux tail

The tail command on Linux/Unix like system is a convenient way of displaying and monitoring log files on any system, which very useful if you are trying to debug a problem on a server machine.

Limitations in tail

  • User who wants to view the file must have SSH or telnet access to the machine, which can pose security concerns.
  • Difficult to search interesting text string within the file
  • Not designed for novice users

Differences

SynTail is similar to the tail command with the following difference:

HTTP
SynTail provides file monitoring over HTTP(S) protocol. This means users don't have to use SSH or telnet to log into the system to view files. Instead, all you need on the client machine is a web browser. It support every major browser available in the market today, which includes MS Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome and Apple Safari.

Upon installation, SynTail automatically runs an embedded web server that is secure and does not require any configuration.

Secure
We understand that our users will be using SynTail over the Internet, which is always vulnerable to threats posed to intruders and malicious users. Therefore, security is our top-most priority and was embedded in SynTail's design from day one. Following bullets highlight a features related to security.
  • HTTPS: Use of HTTPS (SSL) is provided right out of the box, which allows secure data transfer across the Internet.
  • Role based file access: Users can only see the files that are made available to them by the administrator. They cannot view any other file.
  • Hidden path: The absolute path of the file is always hidden from the client. All they see is the contents of the file. They will never know where the files are stored preventing a malicious user from detecting the directory structure on a remote machine
  • Server-side rules: Administrators can assign server side rules limiting clients viewing time and file size, which prevents necessary HTTP connections increasing the scalability of the host machine.
  • Online status: Administrators can always see the users connected to their host machine at a given time. If needed, client's connection can be terminated on-demand.
  • Password alerts: SynTail automatically generates email alerts if someone tries to specify an incorrect password more then 3 times, giving the administrators to take pro-active action against any potential attack.


Usability
SynTail is designed to be used by novice users. There is no need to learn Linux/UNIX command line switches or to figure out how to use SSH. Simply open a web browser and type the URL for the host machine.

Additionally, users can easily put filter strings to restrict data or highlight certain text in the viewer by simply typing the desired string.

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