4 Replies Latest reply: Apr 28, 2006 12:54 PM by Charles Minow
Ruby T Level 1 (0 points)
I found that about 17 gb had disappeared from my hard drive and so I used whatsize and found that I the 17 gb are in library/logs/console/user/console.log.1. Can I erase that or how can I get back those 17gb?
Sorry about my lack of knowledge

PowerBook G4, Mac OS X (10.3.9)
  • Charles Minow Level 6 (9,180 points)

    Yes, you can erase that file, it's just an old log. Just drag it to the Trash and empty the Trash.

    However, it's a bit troubling that your console.log grew so large. That file is where the computer sends information. Usually, it's fairly small amounts of information, but sometimes a program will go crazy and spew huge amounts of information in there and fill up the hard drive.

    You can open up that log in the Console application from your Utilities folder, but that might take a long time to complete for a log that huge. Better might be to open up the Terminal application from your Utilities folder and type this at the prompt, followed by the "enter" key:

    tail -n 20 /Library/Logs/Console/501/console.log.1

    I have "501" on my system instead of a username in the path. See if there are messages there that repeat a couple of times a second or so. That will print out the last 20 lines of that log.

    Make sure that whatever filled up that log isn't still doing it. Note that the usual daily, weekly, or monthly maintenance scripts don't rotate this log. The only time the console.log gets rotated is when you restart the computer. When you restart, the old one gets renamed to "console.log.0", "console.log.0" gets renamed to "console.log.1", etc., and a new "console.log" gets created. You should definitely not delete the current one, by the way, as the system is still using it. And if the other ones are small you might as well keep them, they can be useful to look at later.

    I have 11 in that folder on my computer dating back to when I first got it in November. The largest is 264KB. The current one is 32KB and my laptop has an uptime of 19 days.

  • JulieJulieJulie Level 4 (1,030 points)
    A possibility for why your console.log files are growing so large might be incompatible components constantly adding error messages to the log...

  • tzikeh Level 1 (125 points)
    Charles - I just found this thread and your answer, and I'm hoping you can help me.

    My console logs from last week are fine as far as size:'

    last Thursday - 84KB
    last Friday - 2.1 MB

    Then I find:

    yesterday - 40.58 GB

    I didn't even try to open this using the Console utility. I'm going to try going in through terminal, as you suggest here, but what should I be looking for - I'm completely stumped!
  • Charles Minow Level 6 (9,180 points)

    I'm going to try going in through terminal,
    as you suggest here, but what should I be looking for
    - I'm completely stumped!

    You're just looking for a line or a couple of lines that just repeat and repeat and repeat, and probably pretty quickly, too. They could be anything.

    The usual format is something like this:

    Apr 20 17:56:26 hostname configd[31]: AppleTalk shutdown failed, status = 71 (retrying)

    First, it's the date and time of the error. Then the host name, which may be "localhost" or something else. Then the name of the process with the error and its process ID in the square brackets. Finally, the message it's trying to send.

    Some applications, though, don't put in their names or the date, which can make it a bit harder. If your console log file is 40GB, it might take a while for the tail command to return. Also, if you need to see more lines, change the 20 above to 100 or so.