there are some applications that don't write cache files on the disk, instead they write into the RAM directly and thus you can't back it up, analyse it or do anything with it.

How can I retrieve (that is, save on the disk) the files they are caching in the RAM ?
I'll take any method: utility, script, Terminal command…

P.S. not sure if I should ask here or at superuser

EDIT: posted on superuser

  • Ask at superuser. Commented Dec 3, 2011 at 18:01
  • Superuser, not Apple
    – daviesgeek
    Commented Dec 3, 2011 at 19:20
  • 1
    If you're trying to do this on a Mac, this is on topic for this site as well as Super User. Commented Dec 3, 2011 at 19:39
  • This is a very generic question, and it lends itself to a rather generic description of the tool available. If you have a more specific problem, as you suggest in your comment on the answer by bmike, you might do better asking that question (as in "I am running app X that downloads video files from a server, caches them in memory, and then plays them. How do I save these files to disk?").
    – Daniel
    Commented Apr 5, 2012 at 13:46

1 Answer 1


Run sysdiagnose on the process ID and look over the leaks and allmemory commands to get a feel for the syntax. You will need to know a lot about the data structures for this to be feasible. With that, you can drop the program into the debugger and dump the required data structures to screen.

  • I have a very little idea of what you're talking about :-) I'm not programmer. I run 10.6.8. I know that the app is caching video files that it's getting from a server, I know what part of the filename could be. I don't know what sysdiagnose is (google didn't help). Commented Dec 3, 2011 at 20:00
  • 1
    You probably want some stream capture software instead of some very technical breakdown of what is in your ram. Commented Dec 3, 2011 at 21:00
  • @hobs having to capture each stream is what I want to avoid. Right now I found the files and I'm trying to play them, they are qtch Commented Dec 3, 2011 at 21:52
  • Hibernate your Mac, and then play with the huge file it produces after waking?
    – stuffe
    Commented Feb 1, 2012 at 22:10

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