For the last 2 weeks Software Update on my Snow Leopard box seems to hang at "Installing 1 item...Writing files...". Where can I look to see if it is making progress or just hung up? It has been trying to finish today's Software Update for over 2 hours now. It feels like it is hung but I would like to be sure before I kill it.


So it looks like the Console application is the only way to "view the logs", so to speak. I launched it from the Finder under "Applications/Utilities". It is rather sparse, but it does have information regarding the update.

I am having more success watching the progress of Software Update by executing it from the command line of a terminal. This I launched as

sudo softwareupdate -i -a -v

I still don't expect it to complete, but am hopeful that I can get a better clue as to why it is failing. Currently there are 4 packages called out in /Library/Updates, one of which is likely the source of my problems:

bobk-mbp:~ bobk$ find /Library/Updates/

Finally, it looks like you can actually tail the install log as

tail -F /var/logs/install.log

So I now know how to watch the thing, but why isn't it completing?

  • Clues are hard to come by troubleshooting this, my symptoms are almost exactly this post: discussions.apple.com/thread/3015458?start=15&tstart=0 – Bob Kuhar Dec 30 '11 at 22:43
  • Yep. That was it. Did what the above post said and my system is all up to date and good to go! At the end of the day, this is total SoftwareUpdate fail on Apple's side; the tool itself gave no useful feedback. Who knows if iTunes actually works. I do software development on this machine and don't even use iTunes. – Bob Kuhar Dec 30 '11 at 22:55

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