'watch' for Mac OS X

UPDATE 18/10/2008: The 'watch' utility can now be installed via Fink. I would also like to draw attention to my own open-source Mac OS X GUI-based application, Sentinel, which facilitates process output monitoring on Mac OS X.

I discovered a brilliant command line program called watch while using my Linux box at work the other day. watch executes a given program periodically, showing output in full screen via ncurses. From the man page:

watch runs command repeatedly, displaying its output (the first screen-full). This allows you to watch the program output change over time.

watch can be very handy for viewing changes to commands like ps or ls over time. All in all, a very neat tool. But back home on my PowerBook, I found that watch isn't shipped by default in Mac OS X. A little digging around told me that this program was part of the procps Linux package -- distributed under the GNU General Public License. A little tinkering and tweaking was all it took to get the program running in the Mac OS X shell.

I suspect that others may also want to use this great tool on Mac OS X, and have therefore provided a package. Press link below to download watch 0.3 for Mac OS X:

Download watch-0.3-macosx.zip

It's the old Makefile grind, no Package Installer, but the way I see it, if you're the sort of person who finds watch useful, you're bound to know how to compile and install UNIX software. Just download the tgz archive, change to the watch-0.3-macosx directory and type:

sudo make install

That should do the trick. Installs into /usr/local/bin/watch, so you'll need to make sure /usr/local/bin/ is in your $PATH.