syslogd gone wild


Since Leopard my mac sometimes begins to freeze and I recognized that my syslogd is running at 100-150% with 1Gb of virtual memory. I wondered a little bit about it and began digging in Google.

My research ended in a guess. (If its wrong – please drop me a note)

The reason is, that buggy programs are filling up the syslogd with debug messages – mostly Apple Event Debug messages in my case. When the file /var/log/asl.db is over 20-25 mb big, the syslogd goes wild

so execute in your prefered shell

     sudo rm /var/log/asl.db && sudo killall syslogd

and it will stop for a while.


I am looking for a permanent solution. If you know one – please drop me note.

have fun


4 Responses to “syslogd gone wild”

  1. Ethan Says:

    I was having the same problem – in my case Azureus was failing to connect and each of the TCP or UDP connections was writing separate error messages to /var/log/system.log. When I killed the process, system.log was over 500 MB!

    You can peek at the end of system.log with tail:

    tail /var/log/system.log

    as most programs can’t open a file that large. I reconfigured Azureus to avoid the situation – this might be possible with whatever program you’re having problems with. “Tail” it and see who the offender is. I didn’t know about asl.db though – another good one to keep an eye on when the CPU spikes. Oh, and:

    sudo echo > /var/log/system.log

    will kill the contents of the file without removing it, so you don’t have to stop syslogd at all.

  2. ssumcmedia Says:

    tail -f /var/log/system.log

    that will follow the log.

  3. John Says:

    This is the only thing I’ve found that works.

  4. echo Says:

    you need to read content of you /var/log/system.log and find what error message is most repeated, and what application make this error.. kill the application and problem is solved.. for me that was an solution 🙂

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