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Doing some cleanup on my Macbook Air with a 128GB SSD looking for big files to reduce the space used.

I found something named com.apple.coresymbolicationd that is 1GB in the /System/Library/Caches folder I don't recall seeing it before. Running Mountain Lion.

What is this and is there a way to clear it?

By the way I am using DaisyDisk to show the files and sizes.

  • I don't know what it is, but it is safe to delete it, as this website proclaims: wootens.net/2012/12/30/… I always delete it anyway, nothing happens to me. Apparently, deleting it makes your Mac faster too! – Faiz Saleem Mar 2 '13 at 0:40
25

Symbolication means replacing memory addresses with symbols (like functions or variables) or for example adding function names and line number information. It is used for debugging and analyzing crash reports.

/System/Library/Caches/com.apple.coresymbolicationd/data was also about 600 MB on my account, so I guess it's normal. Deleting files in cache folders is generally safe, and /System/Library/Caches/ is even excluded from Time Machine backups.

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    /System/Library/Caches/com.apple.coresymbolicationd/data grows when, for example, sysdiagnose runs. – Graham Perrin Jun 4 '13 at 18:41
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    I can't delete it. It's 9 GB and is protected by OSX. What should I do? – Hoseyn Heydari Jan 22 '16 at 16:14
  • For anyone reading this at this point, you need to look into disabling System Integrity Protection to delete it now – Sirens Jul 7 '16 at 0:25
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    I just used Get Info, unlocked the settings, and set everyone to "Read & Write". Not sure what you mean by System Integrity Protection. – Mazyod Nov 26 '16 at 10:29
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The files stored in the system and user Caches folder are there to speed up your Mac and a process will recreate them if you decide to move them to the Trash and reboot.

Most programs are well behaved enough to handle you deleting the files from under the running system, but I've also gotten into the habit of moving them to Trash and then rebooting to let the system recreate new folders if needed before deleting the files.

This core daemon is virtually undocumented by Apple and the one data file is likely an encrypted sqlite3 database file (or some other binary data store) for internal use by the OS to handle process control. You can look at the source code and system headers that belong to CoreSymbolication here as it interacts with the source for dtrace:

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8

OS X El Capitan 10.11.3 it's safe to remove from terminal

sudo rm -rf /System/Library/Caches/com.apple.coresymbolicationd
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  • Removed in Mojave, too, without problems. – paul_h Oct 21 '19 at 3:10
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I had a big issue with the feeling something was eating storage in my macbook. My folder com.apple.coresymbolicationd was 90 GB and growing and it was filling the hard drive to death. After finding it with Daisy Disk (running a scan as administrator) I've deleted all "grow" files in the "com.apple.coresymbolicationd" and I've cleared 90 GB of storage space. After rebooting the macbook works fine, all my settings are the same and apparently everything seems to be to be alright. This might help those who have the same issue I had.

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3

With the help of a launch daemon you can clear this folder each time you reboot your computer.

  1. Create a file in your home directory called local.rm.coresymbolicationd.plist using the editor of your choice with the following contents:

    <?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
    <!DOCTYPE plist PUBLIC "-//Apple//DTD PLIST 1.0//EN" "http://www.apple.com/DTDs/PropertyList-1.0.dtd">
    <plist version="1.0">
    <dict>
        <key>Label</key>
        <string>local.rm.coresymbolicationd</string>
        <key>ProgramArguments</key>
        <array>
            <string>/usr/bin/find</string>
            <string>/System/Library/Caches/com.apple.coresymbolicationd</string>
            <string>-type</string>
            <string>f</string>
            <string>-exec</string>
            <string>/bin/rm</string>
            <string>{}</string>
            <string>+</string>
        </array>
        <key>RunAtLoad</key>
        <true/>
        <key>StandardOutPath</key>
        <string>/var/root/local.rm.coresymbolicationd.out</string>
        <key>StandardErrorPath</key>
        <string>/var/root/local.rm.coresymbolicationd.err</string>
        <key>WorkingDirectory</key>
        <string>/var/root</string>
        <key>UserName</key>
        <string>root</string>
        <key>GroupName</key>
        <string>wheel</string>
    </dict>
    </plist>
    
  2. Run the following commands from Terminal.app or the terminal application of your choice:

    sudo mv ${HOME}/local.rm.coresymbolicationd.plist /Library/LaunchDaemons
    sudo chown root:wheel /Library/LaunchDaemons/local.rm.coresymbolicationd.plist
    
  3. Reboot. On this and subsequent reboots, files inside that folder will be deleted.

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  • Isn't it just that one file called /System/Library/Caches/com.apple.coresymbolicationd/data that's filling up? Also, I know that it was growing really huge, for me, in the past. But keeping an eye on that location, recently I did not see it grow that big anymore. Dunno, whether Apple or a 3rdP cleaned up their act? (Meaning: while a very practical solution for old systems, this launchd approach seems like a bit of overkill to me now?) – LаngLаngС Jan 23 at 15:57
  • When I checked the build nodes I maintain that were running out of disk space, there was both the data file (very large; half the disk!) and temp file with a unique filename (much smaller). As far as I know, launchd is still The Apple Way™ and seemed like the safest option. YMMV. – SGDave Jan 23 at 19:11
  • Of course, if you regularly accumulate that much waste in that dir, then the above is really brilliant. I just think that nowadays in most cases a more 'when needed approach' might be more sensible. Plus, ascertaining what really causes the enormous bloat in the first place would be even nicer to know (as per question title) ;) – LаngLаngС Jan 23 at 19:18
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    In our case, a reboot is a “when needed” approach. :-) The culprits in my case are one or more of: macOS, java (for Jenkins), Unity, PVRTexTool, and Xcode. – SGDave Jan 23 at 20:20
0

Not a problem to delete this cache. It is used by 3rd party APIs. Unfortunately, you can't disable CoreSymbolication.Framework without breaking something.

My best advice is to 'mac disable SIP' then

(1) explore which processes ('mac activity monitor') are using RAM and CPU

(2) explore user and system caches...

As a simple rule, you can (should?) trash everything in /System/Library/Caches and ~/Library/Caches... then just reboot and they'll be rebuilt as necessary.

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