84.0 GB private/var/log/asl folder

Discussion in 'macOS' started by littlemcbeast, Jan 27, 2009.

  1. littlemcbeast macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2009
    Location:
    Montreal, Canada
    #1
    I recently realized that my MacBook Pro's free disk space plummeted from 162 GB to about 70 GB, and no matter how many times I searched through my files and added up the disk space used by my HD, Applications and User folder, there was still roughly 90 GB of unaccounted disk space.

    I downloaded Disk Inventory X, which showed me all that memory was taken up by a hidden 'private' folder. All I've been able to find is that it's somehow related to virtual memory, but everyone who's had problems with it had at most 4 GB on it. Mine is 87.5 GB. What the heck? This is massive. Everything in that folder seems to be similar 80 MB asl files. I have no idea what any of this is, and is there any way I can clear this up? I ran Onyx to clear up a bunch of my logs and unused files, but it apparently had no effect on that folder.

    Any help would be greatly appreciated. :)

    These are the files:
    [​IMG]
     
  2. Eidorian macrumors Penryn

    Eidorian

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2005
    Location:
    Indianapolis
    #2
    Those really look like runaway logs. Might be a good time to nuke them.
     
  3. ppc750fx macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2008
    #3
    It's in /var/log -- my bet is that it's safe to nuke.
     
  4. frenetic macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2004
    Location:
    Amsterdam
    #4
    You can manually remove them, or use a utility like leopard cache cleaner or onyx and clean the logs through them. You should also find out, however, what is causing these logs to go wild. Look into one of them (using console) and see what line i being repeated.

    Frenetic
     
  5. littlemcbeast thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2009
    Location:
    Montreal, Canada
    #5
    Console crashes when I launch it, and OnyX didn't remove any of the logs when I did the sweep.

    How else can I know what's generating these logs? I really don't want to delete these files unless I know what they are and why it's safe to delete them.

    My MacBook has also been getting ridiculously hot lately, which makes me think my problem might have something to do with this:
    http://www.macfixit.com/article.php?story=20090122213555897

    Unfortunately, I don't understand much from what the article is saying. Would anyone be able to clear this up?
     
  6. plinden macrumors 68040

    plinden

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2004
    #6
    asl is the Apple System Log.

    Those files are user-related logs. Notice they are named by date, and each one isn't that big, but it looks like it may have been going on for some time. (Edit, actually, I didn't notice before, there are multiple logs per day so your Mac is splitting the files when they reach about 80MB)

    You say your machine is hot recently - check Activity Monitor. Is syslogd taking up major CPU? If syslogd is going mad, taking up CPU, you need to find the underlying cause, and looking at the asl logs will help.

    The files you're looking at are stored in binary format (to save space under normal circumstances) but you can read them from Terminal. Open Terminal and type:
    Code:
    cd /var/log/asl
    syslog <pick any log>.asl | less
    This will display the first page of the log ... you can page through it by pressing the space bar. Look for multiple log entries referencing the same process - that'll likely be the underlying cause.
     
  7. littlemcbeast thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2009
    Location:
    Montreal, Canada
    #7
    Thanks for the info!

    aslmanager is what's taking up almost 100% of my CPU. The next process after is Safari at less than 10%.

    I typed everything into Terminal and it only gave me a blank terminal screen with (END) at the bottom left corner. Am I using it wrong?
     
  8. plinden macrumors 68040

    plinden

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2004
    #8
    What exactly did you type?

    Anyway, that macfixit article you linked to should get you over this for now. Just type exactly the following using an admin account:
    Code:
    sudo launchctl stop com.apple.syslogd
    sudo launchctl stop com.apple.aslmanager
    mkdir ~/Desktop/temp
    sudo mv /var/log/asl/* ~/Desktop/temp/
    sudo launchctl start com.apple.syslogd
    You can take a look at the asl logs in the temp folder at your leisure, and delete them when you no longer need them.
     
  9. Stachelsk macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2008
    #9
    Open terminal.

    Code:
    sudo rm -rf /var/log/*
     
  10. plinden macrumors 68040

    plinden

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2004
    #10
    NO! Do not do what Stachelsk said. That removes all log files, including those unrelated to this, and doesn't get you any closer to finding out what the problem is. Nor will it stop this from happening in the near future or stop aslmanager from taking up 100% CPU.
     
  11. littlemcbeast thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2009
    Location:
    Montreal, Canada
    #11
    No worries! So far all I've done is manually remove the .asl files older than yesterday, and the aslmanager disappeared from my Activity Monitor.

    Hopefully it'll stay that way, but from what I've gathered, the issue is a bug with OS X 10.5.6's new ASL system, so I don't think there's anything I can do to fix that until Apple releases another update.

    And if it does comes back, I guess I'll just follow what the website says and have my log files routed to my Desktop, even though I'm not quite sure if it's for anything other than convenience when it comes to deleting the files?
     
  12. Stachelsk macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2008
    #12
    I just delete all the log files and all my problems are solved.

    They are log files people, they were meant to be deleted eventually.
     
  13. plinden macrumors 68040

    plinden

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2004
    #13
    Not when you have some runaway process filling the logs. The problem will come back eventually. The best thing to do is look through the logs to find what's causing it.

    If you "delete all the log files and all [your] problems are solved", you're not solving anything. Under normal operation you should never have to delete the logs. If you have to delete the logs more than once, you have a problem that you need to find the solution to.

    I have never deleted the logs on my Mini or my wife's MacBook, because they've never had a problem process causing the logs to be filled. But I once had a login item on my account (it was a while ago and I don't remember what it was). When I realized, by looking through the logs, what was causing the logging problem, I removed it and the problem went away.
     
  14. 88888888 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    May 28, 2008
    #14
    So, How can i fix this problem? Is the only way by reinstalling OsX?
     
  15. MaTUC macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2009
    Location:
    Santiago de Chile
    #15
    I'm having a similar problem in the private/var/vm folder , I just noticed today that this "private" folder existed (I installed windows on boot camp and had to delete my hard drive cause it couldnt be repaired:p) It isnt thaat big , its 4.06 GB , my question is.. is this normal?

    thanks :D
     
  16. Eidorian macrumors Penryn

    Eidorian

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2005
    Location:
    Indianapolis
    #16
    The "vm" is for virtual memory in 64 MB chunks. Your Mac's sleep image is also there and its size is the same as your RAM.
     
  17. txhockey9404 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2008
    #17
    That's definitely not right. My iMac's entire log folder is just 37mb. The entire private/var folder is a bit over 1gb.

    I wonder if a fresh install on another partition or an external drive would correct the problem? If not, maybe a piece of hardware is signaling failure and since Console will not launch, we cannot find out what it is saying.

    Maybe he has a screwed up install, and the fresh partition would check that, and if that fixes the problem, he can just transfer files to the other partition then expand the new one over the old.
     
  18. Natureboy9 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2008
    #18
    Do you have a cat or pet?

    Hi littlemcbeast,

    I had the same problem... and now I only have 600mb left on my HD. I lent it to my friend cause her computer crashed and comes to find out that all of a sudden a bunch of stuff on her hard drive just disappeared and we had to retrieve, which the apple store did for us. I'm guessing that maybe her computer was doing the same thing and it just crashed one day.

    The real question is how what is doing this and creating everyday a bunch of large files.

    One speculation i have is maybe her cat was standing on the keys of the keyboard. But I'm going to get to the bottom of this.
     
  19. scottski macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 3, 2009
    Location:
    Beverly MA
    #19
    Remove versus Delete?

    Hi,
    I have a case of runaway asl log files (MacHD/private/var/log/asl.) These files are taking up 147GB of my 232.6GB HD. I've read in the forums about "manually removing" or "nuking" those files. Can I just delete them to my Trash and then empty the trash, is Removing the same as Deleting? Or, do I have to use LCC or Onyx to actually "remove" those file? Still need to figure out how they were created in the first place. Thanks, Scott
     
  20. BobZune macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2007
    Location:
    USA
  21. jviveros macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2010
    #21
    Fixed

    my problem was with adobe. i knew it was probably some cache problem but could not pin point it. so anyway, after using disk inventory x, which was great, i saw that 20gb was being taken up by stupid 'media cache'. once deleted from within then program then emptying trash, it worked! :) so if you use adobe, try checking if that's the problem with you.
     
  22. Rachreal macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2010
    #22

    ok when i go into terminal to do this it asks for a password... but then wont let me type anything.... i need help, my computer wont stop filling up!
     
  23. NJuul macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2006
    Location:
    Boston
    #23
    Terminal registers the password you enter, it is just not shown on the screen. It is a security thing :)
     
  24. Rachreal macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2010
    #24
    AHHHHH! :) OMG IT WORKED all systems operational YAY! thank everyone so so so so so so so so so so so so MUCH WAH-HA-HA!
     

Share This Page