The title says it all. Prior to iOS 8, one could use iPhone Configuration Utility, but that no longer works. Is there any other way to access these logs without installing the gargantuan XCode? Are there any third-party utilities that can do this?

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    There is a freeware utility:lemonjar.com/iosconsole – odysseus Nov 9 '14 at 21:11
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    Well, then it needs to be made more well known that iOS Console is the only utility (besides XCode) that allows one to view console logs on iOS 8 devices. – odysseus Nov 10 '14 at 18:29
  • Very nice utility, and freeware. Thanks for sharing! – Leo Natan Nov 1 '15 at 5:50

Yes. Apple Configurator 2 has a command line tool that can tail and/or dump the console logs and do some other nice operations like pair, enumerate connected devices, etc...

cfgutil syslog

That's the official Apple way and it's much smaller a download than Xcode. Both are free but cfgutil is much more powerful and can do things like remove apps, erase, pair, and even run scripts when you attach and detach iOS devices to your Mac.

To make cfgutil available at the command line, open Configurator 2, and choose Configurator 2 -> Install Automation Tools ... from the menu.

You could also look at homebrew and install libimobiledevice - that is open source and free as well and seems to be kept updated fairly well over time.

brew install libimobiledevice
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  • cfgutil syslog works very well with "grep --line-buffered" to only see logs you care about. For example, this will only show logs from MobileNotes: "cfgutil syslog | grep --line-buffered MobileNotes" – David Airapetyan Nov 24 '17 at 18:54
  • cfgutil looks like only work for live log, not the old log the device produced without connecting to Apple Configurator 2 – allenlinli Sep 3 '19 at 11:51

There is a tool called iTools

It provides real time system logs just like Console log in iPCU or xcode

  • Connect Your device to system.

  • click on itools->Under iPhone->>Advanced->System logs

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With iTools (available for Mac & Windows) you can get logs from your iOS device by selecting Toolbox and Real-time Log:

enter image description here

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I'm using libimobiledevice(link). This is a cross-platform software protocol library and tools to communicate with iOS® devices natively.

Once these are installed, you can plug in a paired device, unlock it and use the following command to view the logs on the screen: idevicesyslog

This is akin to running a tail against the device. Again, the device must be paired. You can use the command line (e.g. if you’re running this on Linux) to view the logs, but if you’re not paired you’ll need to pair your device: idevicepair pair You can also unpair: idevicepair unpair

When pairing and unpairing, you should see the appropriate entries in /var/db/lockdown.

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There's also an app called "iOS Console," but it requires iOS 9.

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