Best Free Logfile Viewer For Windows, MacOS, and Linux

Logfile viewers, also known as log viewers, are critical tools in the tech ecosystem. They are designed to enable developers and system administrators to manage system activities closely. Choosing the right log viewer can be a daunting task, given the wide variety of options available out there. In this review, we shall be examining the top free log viewers for Windows, MacOS, and Linux.

LogViewPlusYesNoNoIt allows parsing of log files, supports log4net log pattern, and provides a 30-day trial for premium versions.
LogFusionYesNoNoIt enables real-time log monitoring and offers custom log highlighting.
BaretailYesNoNoIt comes with real-time log file updates and supports large log files.
gloggYesYesYesIt supports large logs, regular expressions, and allows for easy navigation.
KSystemLogNoNoYesThis is designed for KDE with standard & custom log file view.


“LogViewPlus quickly parse, read and analyse log files faster. The built-in log viewer is lightning fast and responsive.”Microvid Technologies

LogViewPlus offers robust log file analysis and parsing. The disadvantage is that it’s only available for Windows users. However, with its exclusive features such as support for log4net log pattern and a quick and responsive built-in log viewer, it is a great tool for Windows users. It comes with a free version with adequate features, but the premium versions offer a more excellent range of abilities with a 30-day trial.

Below are some of its uniquely strong features:

  1. Rapid Log Parsing: LogViewPlus excels in its ability to quickly parse, read and analyze log files. Microvid Technologies praise its fast functioning with their quote:

“LogViewPlus quickly parse, read and analyse log files faster. The built-in log viewer is lightning fast and responsive.”Microvid Technologies

  1. Support for log4net Log Pattern: LogViewPlus for Windows supports log4net log patterns, a feature that makes it stand out. Log4net is a flexible log-generating tool, and having a log viewer that supports its patterns natively is a significant benefit for developers and system admins.
  2. Customizable: The LogViewPlus user interface is highly customizable, including custom filter views, tabbed workspaces, and log correlation or merging.
  3. Real-time Log Monitoring: This feature allows users to monitor log updates in real-time, providing instant insights into what is happening in your logs.
  4. Advanced Filtering: LogViewPlus additionally facilitates advanced filtering of log entries. Users can filter entries by log level, text matches, exclude patterns, etc.
  5. Auto-Detection of Log Formats: The tool is smart enough to determine the file format whenever a log file is opened. It automatically configures the log parser accordingly, allowing for a seamless user experience.
  6. Premium Versions: While LogViewPlus provides a free version with enough features for basic logfile viewing and analysis, there are premium versions offering more advanced features, including unlimited tabs, log fusion, caching, bookmarking, and more. These premium versions come with a 30-day trial.


LogFusion is a fantastic log viewing tool for Windows. It adopts real-time log monitoring, which ensures you’re updated with any changes as they happen. The software also allows you to create custom log highlighting rules, enabling you to pin-point specific logs.

  1. Real-time Log Monitoring: Just like LogViewPlus, LogFusion also provides a real-time log monitoring feature. This enables users to see changes made to their log files as they happen, useful for monitoring ongoing activities.
  2. Custom Log Highlighting: The custom log highlighting feature is one of the highlights in LogFusion. Users can set custom highlighting rules to colorize the log lines, making it easier to parse log data visually and find significant points.
  3. Log Category Assignments: LogFusion doesn’t just highlight the log’s lines; it also allows user to add categories to the lines in the logs. This categorization can aid in reducing the time for log analysis.
  4. Sync Highlight Rules: Logs can be sometimes worked on different machines, and with LogFusion, there’s no need to set up your highlight rules every time. By syncing your highlight rules between computers, LogFusion ensures consistency and efficiency.
  5. Powerful Log Filtering: LogFusion employs an advanced log filtering system, so users can filter out unnecessary information from their logs. This reduction of data clutter can make it easier to focus on problematic areas during debugging or monitoring.
  6. Watched Folders: A unique feature in LogFusion is the support of ‘watched’ folders. Log files in such folders get automatically opened in LogFusion as soon as they are created.
  7. Auto-Scroll (like ‘tail’): While viewing a log, sometimes it’s necessary to keep viewing the end of the log as new lines are added. LogFusion provides an auto-scrolling feature, similar to the ‘tail’ command in Unix systems.

With these features, LogFusion is indeed a great log viewer for Windows users who are focused on real-time log monitoring and efficient log analysis.


Baretail supports Windows only and stands out for being extremely lightweight. Its ability to provide real-time updates of the log files in use makes it a handy tool for log analysis. It also handles large log files effectively.

  1. Real-time Log File Updates: Baretail offers the real-time log monitoring feature, enabling users to view the changes in the log files immediately as they happen. This makes it perfect for tracing the sequence of events in the logs.
  2. Support for Large Log Files: One area where Baretail stands out from other log viewers is its ability to handle large log files. No matter the size of the log file, Baretail can easily open and process it, providing an uninterrupted user experience.
  3. Customizable Highlights: It also allows users to define their own highlight settings. You can choose to highlight specific lines of logs based on your preference, enabling better identification of significant entries.
  4. Configurable Fonts and Colors: Baretail offers a user-friendly interface where you can easily adjust the fonts and colors according to your preference. This can greatly enhance readability and aid in log analysis.
  5. Auto-Scroll Tail Feature: Similar to LogFusion, Baretail also provides an auto-scrolling feature. As new lines are added to the log, the view automatically scrolls to keep the latest entries visible.
  6. Regular Expression Support: Regular expressions are used to match lines in the log, making it more intuitive to filter out the lines of interest. This is an advanced feature that can significantly enhance the efficiency of log viewing.

Overall, Baretail stands out for its simplicity, lightweight nature, and ability to handle large log files with ease. This makes it perfect for users who need quick and efficient access to their log data.


“glogg – the fast, smart log explorer.”glogg website

glogg is available on all three platforms – Windows, MacOS and Linux, making it one of the most universally accessible log viewers. Besides, it is efficient in managing large logs, a quality absent in several other free log viewers. The added feature of regular expressions and easy navigation gives glogg an edge in the competition.

  1. Support for Large Log Files: glogg is built keeping large log files in mind. It easily handles large logs that can be several GBs in size. This quality sets it apart from several other free logfile viewers that struggle with large files.
  2. Regular Expressions: glogg supports regular expressions, a powerful tool for string matching in the logs. This significantly enhances the search capability within the logs, making it easier to find specific lines or entries.
  3. Easy Navigation: The log viewer provides an intuitive navigation system. You can move between matches with the simple click of a button, making it faster to navigate through the logs.
  4. Persistent Search history: With glogg, your search history stays persistent between sessions, providing the convenience of not having to retype search entries.
  5. Auto-update when Log File Changes: Similar to other log viewers in this list, glogg also supports real-time log updates. It automatically detects changes made to the active log file, keeping you updated with the recent entries without manual reloads.
  6. Built-in Text Filters: It offers built-in text filters for optimized log viewing. You can filter lines based on their text match, which can be beneficial in identifying important log messages amid a large amount of log data.
  7. Support for Unix/Linux Text Files: As glogg is available on multiple platforms, it natively supports Unix/Linux text files, making it versatile and more accessible to a huge range of users.

glogg’s platform universality, robust support for large logs, and simplicity make it a highly reliable and useful tool for handling log files across different operating systems.


KSystemLog, designed for use with the KDE desktop, supports multiple kinds of logs, including system logs, remote logs, and more. While it isn’t available for Windows or MacOS, it’s a vital tool for Linux users.

In conclusion, while these log file viewers bring a lot to the table, the perfect choice depends on the user’s specific needs and their operating system. Always go for the tool that best aligns with your requirements for optimum results.

  1. General System Log Viewing: KSystemLog enables users to view general system logs. These include useful log files for everyday system administration like System Log, Log, Kernel Log, Authentication Log, etc.
  2. Custom Log Viewing: Beyond the general logs, you can set up KSystemLog to view any log file you choose. This makes it flexible enough to handle any log file required for software development or system administration tasks.
  3. Colorize Log Lines: To enhance the readability and make specific lines or entries stand out, KSystemLog allows for colorization of log lines.
  4. Detailed Information Mode: This mode allows users to view detailed information about a given log entry. It can provide valuable insights while diagnosing problems or understanding the system’s behaviour.
  5. Multiple View Modes: You can choose between different view modes, including a simplified view and a detailed view, depending on your needs.
  6. Automatic Refresh and Log Rotation: KSystemLog also supports log rotation feature. Plus, the tool refreshes the logs automatically when any change is detected.
  7. Search Function: It includes a search function, providing a quick way to filter log messages and find the ones required.
  8. Export Log: The log viewer allows users to export logs or specific entries, facilitating easier sharing or storage for future reference.

While its use may be restricted to Linux, KSystemLog provides a rich suite of powerful features aimed to make system log management efficient and user-friendly, making it a top choice for system administrators and developers who use Linux.

Frequently Asked Questions about Logfile Viewer

What is a Logfile Viewer?

A logfile viewer, also known as a log viewer, is a tool used by developers and system administrators to manage logs of system activities. They are critical for monitoring, debugging, and troubleshooting purposes in a tech environment.

What should I look for in a Logfile Viewer?

Some of the key features you should consider in a logfile viewer include real-time log monitoring, log highlighting, support for large log files, ease of navigation, and the capability to parse log files.

Can I use these logfile viewers on any operating system?

No, each logfile viewer is designed to work with specific operating systems. Some work only with Windows, while others are compatible with multiple operating systems such as Windows, MacOS, and Linux.

Which is the best Logfile Viewer for Linux?

glogg and KSystemLog are amongst the top logfile viewers for Linux. glogg is known for supporting large logs, regular expressions and makes navigation easy. KSystemLog is specifically designed for KDE and provides support for standard and custom log file viewing.

Are these Logfile Viewers free?

Yes, all the logfile viewers mentioned in this review are free to use, however, some like LogViewPlus offer premium versions with more advanced features.

Can I use logfile viewers for real-time monitoring?

Yes, applications like LogFusion and Baretail provide real-time log monitoring. You can track changes to your log files as they occur.