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can i delete the data in the system log? it takes up 26 GB of my hard disc! help please!

2048 Views 54 Replies Latest reply: Nov 2, 2013 1:16 AM by denise CLARK RSS
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denise CLARK Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
Currently Being Moderated
Jan 25, 2013 4:24 AM

can i delete the data in the system log? it takes up 26 GB of my hard disc! help please!

macbook pro, Mac OS X (10.6.8), 2.16 GHz Intel Core Duo 2GB DDR2 SDRAM
  • a brody Level 9 Level 9 (62,180 points)

    Yes you can.  Log files are one of the few system files you can delete without shame.    If you are having trouble because its permissions are messed up, go into the Terminal and type:


    chmod 777

    Followed by a space without hitting anything, and drag the log file into the terminal.   It will then put the full path of the log file in.   Once that's there, hit return.  You should then be able to delete the file.

  • a brody Level 9 Level 9 (62,180 points)

    Onyx is overkill.  Don't use it for caches.   That can actually slow your system down.  If you can use it just to eliminate logs that will help.   But there might be some logs it doesn't touch, which is why I say, if you find the log you want, it is better to kill it directly.

  • noondaywitch Level 6 Level 6 (8,130 points)
  • Linc Davis Level 10 Level 10 (108,150 points)

    Changing the permissions of the system log file will have no effect whatsoever on your ability to delete it. All it will do is make the file insecure. You should not delete the file at all, and you should never change the permissions of any system file, for any reason.


    What you should do, first, is back up your data, if you haven't already done that. Then you need to figure out why the log is not being rotated as it should be, if indeed it isn't.


    How do you know the size of the log?

  • Linc Davis Level 10 Level 10 (108,150 points)

    Some of my instructions may have be modified a little, because it's been a long time since I used 10.6 and I don't necessarily remember all the differences.

    Triple-click the line below to select it:


    Right-click or control-click the highlighted line and select
    Services Show Info
    from the contextual menu. An Info dialog should open.
    In the General section, what is shown for Size and Created?
  • Linc Davis Level 10 Level 10 (108,150 points)

    Triple-click anywhere in the line below to select it:


    ls -hl /var/log/system.log*


    Copy the selected text to the Clipboard (command-C).


    Launch the Terminal application in any of the following ways:


    ☞ Enter the first few letters of its name into a Spotlight search. Select it in the results (it should be at the top.)


    ☞ In the Finder, select Go Utilities from the menu bar, or press the key combination shift-command-U. The application is in the folder that opens.


    ☞ Open LaunchPad. Click Utilities, then Terminal in the icon grid.


    Paste (command-V) into the Terminal window.


    Post any lines of output that appear below what you entered — the text, please, not a screenshot.

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