'Too big' might be a relative concept, but most of the files I see in var/log are measured in KB. install.log is 1.7GB & goes all the way back to 2018.

I'd kind of assumed that automatic trimming/culling of this type of data would happen without my intervention. It would seem that this has not only survived that, but also any random button-pushing I might do periodically from Onyx where I will every month or three pretend I know what I'm doing & clear out some old histories, run the daily, weekly, monthly scripts, rotate logs etc.

I assume if I manually trash this log file the Mac will happily make a new one; but I'm uncertain as to whether the system relies on being able to access any of this data, and if so, how far back?

In short: Should I bin it & allow it to start over, or is there a recognised method to sensibly truncate it?
Should it, in fact, have been keeping itself tidy & something has gone awry?

Mac Pro 5,1 Mojave 10.14.6

  • 1
    I'm quite sure any log files can be deleted safely. They should get archived automatically anyway, but I don't remember how this was supposed to work in Mojave...
    – nohillside
    Jun 23, 2021 at 7:43
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    Yeah. I can see other logs being rotated - system & wifi for instance have several days of bz archives, powermanagement goes back about 10 days with individually dated files; it's just the install.log that seems to go back forever. I guess I'm wondering if it should auto-truncate/rotate & isn't doing.
    – Tetsujin
    Jun 23, 2021 at 7:56
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    hmmm… I gues I should wait & see if anyone has any additional info on how/why it's not rotating. I guessed I could probably bin it safely, but then I'd have to keep an eye on it to see if it just does the same thing again. tbh, I'm not in any hurry, 1.7GB is 'big' but not causing any issues. I've plenty of space left, 650GB on the boot drive alone.
    – Tetsujin
    Jun 23, 2021 at 8:01
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    You could also zip it for now and keep it, this should reduce the file size significantly.
    – Ant
    Jun 23, 2021 at 9:26
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    Tested again 14 August 2021, log is simply still growing since I trashed the old one in June, though currently only 1.8MB. Will check back in 6 months…
    – Tetsujin
    Aug 14, 2021 at 15:19


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