A Console replacement for examining past logs in Sierra: LogLogger 5b (updated)

Examining the logs in OS X / macOS is a very important function when investigating many problems. The logs can reveal what happened when, and give you powerful clues as to why things went wrong, enabling you to fix those problems. Even simple tasks, like checking whether the last Time Machine backup completed without errors, become impossible without access to the logs.

With macOS Sierra, Apple has introduced a completely new and very powerful log system, with much greater capabilities than that in El Capitan (or, indeed, other comparable operating systems). However its current app for accessing those logs, Console 1.0, has almost no features to access the logs from the past, even a second before you start the app. In macOS Sierra 10.12 to 10.12.2, the only way of gaining useful access to logs of the past is through the command tool log (which is not without its own problems).

LogLogger5b is an updated and improved version of my simple AppleScript app to give as complete access to past logs as you might obtain using the log show command in Terminal. Its improvements over LogLogger5 are:

  • it comes with its own 15-page PDF documentation, which includes excerpts from the tutorials posted here,
  • it now performs AND NOT and AND OR operations on predicates properly,
  • it writes the shell command which it executed at the end of each output file, so that you can understand any issues that have arisen, and even learn to use the log show command yourself, if you wish.

As with LogLogger5, the radio buttons and popup menus in its main dialog are not yet persistent between runs, I am afraid. I hope to be working on that issue shortly.

LogLogger5b is exactly the same as 5a, but I think that I have now got my code signing working. This means that when you first run it after downloading, it should validate correctly with Gatekeeper and work first time, without having to bypass Gatekeeper using the Finder’s Open command. If you already use a copy of 5a (which Gatekeeper has then checked and authorised), there should be no detectable difference in use.

If you want to distribute it more widely, please link to this page. I don’t wish to prevent anyone from making copies available elsewhere, but that does ensure a common source. Here is the zipped app and docs for download: loglogger5d

I hope that you find this a practical tool which helps you diagnose issues. If you have any problems, find bugs, or have any suggestions, please add them here as comments (or send them by email to me).

I have now replaced version 5b with 5d, which should work properly when you first download it. If it reports that it cannot be run because it is not from a recognised developer, simply select the app in the Finder and use the Finder’s Open command to run it instead.

(Updated 19 January 2017 for version 5d.)