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logging – Where is “/var/log/messages” on mac-osx? – Server Fault

Posted by jpluimers on 2019/07/29

logging – Where is “/var/log/messages” on mac-osx? – Server Fault

TL;DR: because most of it is in /var/log/system.log which is configured in /etc/asl.conf, but the documentation example about syslog.conf never got updated.

Long read

The example in syslog.conf is wrong at WayBack: Mac OS X Manual Page For syslog.conf(5) and man syslog.conf:

     A configuration file might appear as follows:
     # Log anything (except mail) of level info or higher.
     # Don't log private authentication messages!
     *.info;mail.none;authpriv.none          /var/log/messages
     /etc/syslog.conf  The syslogd(8) configuration file.

It still is when writing this [WayBack]syslog.conf(5) Mac OS X Manual Page, so you have to look at /etc/syslog.conf on a live system:

# Note that flat file logs are now configured in /etc/asl.conf

install.*                       @

which means the actual configuration is in /etc/asl.conf:

# Rules for /var/log/system.log
> system.log mode=0640 format=bsd rotate=seq compress file_max=5M all_max=50M
? [= Sender kernel] file system.log
? [<= Level notice] file system.log
? [= Facility auth] [<= Level info] file system.log
? [= Facility authpriv] [<= Level info] file system.log

Documentation at [WayBack] asl.conf(5) Mac OS X Manual Page indicates this:

     asl.conf -- configuration file for syslogd(8) and aslmanager(8)

     The syslogd(8) server reads the /etc/asl.conf file at startup, and re-reads the file when it receives a HUP signal.  The aslmanager(8) daemon reads the file when it starts.  See the
     ASLMANAGER PARAMETER SETTINGS section for details on aslmanager-specific parameters.


Based on [WayBacklogging – Where is “/var/log/messages” on mac-osx? – Server Fault:


When you read the man pages on Mac OS X, there are references to /var/log/messages, but if you look for the file, it doesn’t exist:

$ ls -l /var/log/messages
ls: /var/log/messages: No such file or directory


2009 era: If you look at the actual /etc/syslog.conf instead of the man page, you see *.notice;authpriv,remoteauth,ftp,install.none;kern.debug;mai‌​l.crit /var/log/system.log


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