I would like if there is a way to capture in a log file all the transfer file activities in a given time period. Let me give you an example. Let's say that on 16 Aug 2017 13:35 I copy/move a file/folder from my Mac to a usb device without giving any special arguments when using the cp/mv commands (in any case copying/moving files/folders can be achieved through GUI).

Is there any text file on the Mac which records the activity history (such as copying/moving files/folders)? I would like this text file to include information in a way like:

16 Aug 2017 13:35 path/to/folderA was copied to /path/to/usb/stick/ or something similar.

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    What actual problem are you trying to solve? Your question reads like an XY problem. Can you edit it to include any error messages you're getting or include a statement of the issue you're facing? Open-ended questions, like this is currently structured, don't really fit well on a Q&A site (see help center). – fsb Aug 16 '17 at 13:09
  • @fsb Tried to reformulate. – thanasissdr Aug 16 '17 at 13:13
  • This can be accomplished with DTrace scripts like opensnoop or iosnoop (which run in separate Terminal windows). DTrace is rather a dev tool which requires some expertise than a common day-to-day user tool with some pretty GUI. Even after editing your question it's still unclear what your problem really is. – klanomath Aug 16 '17 at 14:38

You can manually use the Terminal command cp (copy) or mv (move) with the -v (for verbose) qualifier to keep a log of what is being copied. Verbose only shows file names, no dates.

You should look at man cp and man mv for more details.


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If you're looking for capturing log data for Finder drags, or disk activity from within apps, I'm not sure how that would be done.

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