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Is it possible via the Terminal in OS X to show a history of recently connected USB devices. For example I want to know the specified ID of the MP3 Sony Walkman which I plugged into my MacBook Pro two weeks ago. Is that possible?

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It's not likely you will have that information from weeks ago. The likely place, system.log is deleted after a week, so you'd need to have Time Machine or another backup mechanism to look at that file.

You could test this easily opening the console.app and filtering system.log for USB messages (or even look in all messages) and see what is logged when you connect the affected / intended to track device.

Since MP3 players look like storage, there's a good chance you will get some log messages to track that from OS X without needing special software as long as the event is within a week.

  • I just checked and have not seen any hint on USB devices in dmesg. – Max Ried Feb 9 '16 at 18:11
  • there is no fresh info in console.app :( I have used content transfer utility while conneting my Sony Walkman. Is it possible to restore some logs from it ? – user3470313 Feb 9 '16 at 18:14
  • @MaxRied That's odd - I have 400 messages already today after using my Mac for maybe an hour. I believe dmesg doesn't check all the logged messages - I have less than 10% of the USB messages from that as using the tool or grep. Every mount of an USB drive is logged for me FWIW. – bmike Feb 9 '16 at 18:14
  • @bmike Does it log the mounting of a file system or does it log the attachment of an USB device? I tested with a gamepad. – Max Ried Feb 9 '16 at 18:18
  • @MaxRied I get USBMSC Identifier messages logged, AppleUSB20HubPort (from the adapter I run from my MacBook), IOUSBMassStorageDriverNub messages on connect and disconnect when the hardware sleeps and wakes, lots of stuff not relating to mounting of the filesystem... – bmike Feb 9 '16 at 18:28

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