I am delighted to announce the release of the first version of my free browser for the macOS, iOS, iPadOS, watchOS and tvOS unified log: Ulbow. This should run on all versions of macOS from 10.12 Sierra through to Catalina. Its only significant requirement is that, when you run it, you are logged on as an admin user.
Ulbow puts access to the unified log within the reach of all Mac users. It has a clean and simple interface which spares you having to learn how to write filter predicates. Unlike Apple’s bundled Console, it works with the last twenty days or so of entries which are already stored in your Mac’s log, as well as those saved in logarchive files. Those logarchives can be imported from any Apple device which uses the unified log, those being all recent versions of iOS, iPadOS, watchOS and tvOS. Not only can it browse whole logarchives, but it can also open individual log (tracev3) files within a logarchive.
Supplied with a wide range of predicate filters to give access to Time Machine, iCloud, privacy (TCC), kernel, and Duet scheduling activities, you can use Ulbow to develop your own predicates interactively. It also has near-instant filtering of entries on strings and regex expressions over log messages, which saves you from having to keep getting new extracts from the log.
Display format features are superior to other log browsers, giving you complete control over which of the fields you wish to see, in which order, and using any of four different text colours. These use the system monospace font. But one of its most valuable features is limiting the number of entries displayed: although your chosen predicate may return 40,000 log entries, Ulbow remains highly responsive when only showing the first thousand or two, enabling you to tune filters and predicates to make the extract more manageable.
Included, both as a Help book inside Ulbow and as a separate document, is a 29-page manual, which takes you from first use for checking Time Machine and the last boot, through to designing your own predicates and formats. This contains reference material on topics such as cause codes, and navigational landmarks showing the start of the boot process, sleep and wake, and more.
Ulbow uses the same parsing engines as Consolation 3, which I have developed and refined over the last two and a half years. It saves log extracts in full colour Rich Text, plain text, and exports them in CSV format, which can be imported into Microsoft Excel, Numbers, and many databases.
Although Ulbow is now my main log browser, I haven’t abandoned Consolation 3. If you prefer its dialog-based design, then I will continue to support it, ensuring that it keeps in step with improvements and fixes in Ulbow.