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What is a kernel.log? How can it be useful?

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Sometimes while we are troubleshooting problems, we have to boot in verbose mode (famous -v at the boot prompt). Sometimes, however, the information passes so fast we can't observe it correctly! Everything recorded in verbose mode is recorded in kernel.log. It also keeps up-to-date errors and status updates while booted in the operating system, so it can assist in troubleshooting post-boot errors as well. Note, however, that this log does not show application crashes. You can view crash logs in the same application, but they are not contained in kernel.log.

First, we will open Console; this is located in /Applications/Utilities. Once inside, we need to click Show All Logs (Snow Leopard) or Show Log List:

Attached File  SSE1.png   135.99KB   51 downloads

Now click the disclosure triangle by /private/var/log (Snow Leopard) or /var/log (Lion):

Attached File  SSE2.png   155.34KB   82 downloads

And now we can click kernel.log:

Attached File  SSE3.png   170.09KB   87 downloads

Now, to look at logs starting from the last boot, look for "nvphash=4095"

Attached File  SSE4.png   163.16KB   62 downloads

Now you can take any errors and research their respective solutions.

  • 11/3/2012 - added first draft (cili0)
  • 13/4/2012 - 2nd draft (PookyMacMan), English screenshots added

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