Consolation 3.0b5: building a much better log browser

I am delighted to offer the fifth beta-release of my browser for macOS Sierra’s unified log, which now has all the features which I intend for it, including:

  • a user-defined library of predicates, which make repeated log extracts much easier, and support complex predicates with many terms;
  • a user-defined library of display styles, so that you can see only the log information that you want; these include selection and ordering of any of the sixteen different fields of log entries, and colour styles which greatly aid browsing;
  • a user-defined library of search terms, with which to filter log extracts for display; you can use simple case-insensitive search, or apply regular expressions, which are case-sensitive.

This release also fixes some bugs in the previous beta, one of which made it impossible to search saved logarchives. That now works fully again.


The preferences sheet shown here illustrates, at the top, a complex predicate with four terms; below is a style which uses colour and filepath truncation to show much more information for each log entry than either of the standard styles, but is more readable. At the bottom is a simple regular expression (regex) filter which is applied to the message field of log entries.


The combination of styles and filters is particularly powerful and productive, as they do not require fresh log extracts to be obtained using the Run command button. You can thus very quickly switch between different styles, and apply different filters, when looking for entries in the log. The example shown is of the early phase of startup, showing only messages which contain the case-insensitive string kernel.

Forthcoming additions to Consolation 3 will include the export and import of custom predicates, styles, and filters, to help those who need such portability. This will enable a sysadmin to install Consolation and their custom library on another Mac very quickly, and without messing around copying preference files, although all custom settings are already saved in Consolation’s preference file.

Other than bug fixes and tweaks to take off any remaining rough edges, it is my intention that this will be the basis of the final release of Consolation 3. If you want any additional features, now is the final call, please.

The latest release is available from Downloads above.

I hope that you find it useful.