I was having a couple issues with my Mac Pro. The most noticeable issue was that when I launched Console, it would open, but then give me nothing more than a spinning cursor. The less obvious symptom, which seemed unrelated, was that whenever I opened Terminal, or opened a new tab or window, there was a good 10 second delay between when the window opened and when the shell’s prompt would finally appear.
I decided that enough was enough, and called up Apple’s tech support. The rep was nice and tried to be helpful, but he hadn’t heard of Console having this kind of problem before. I’d searched all around Google and the Apple discussion boards, to no avail.
Eventually, I got the idea to just check the logs, and see how big they were. Logs are located in /private/var/log/. I noticed that there was one directory, asl, which was absolutely huge. There were hundreds of files, each of them being pretty big themselves. Once I cleared them all out, the problems went away.
Now, for those of you wondering what this asl directory is, it’s short for Apple System Log. This is the place where everything that happens on your mac gets logged. The system.log file is actually a subset of the information in asl. In Console, this data is viewable under the “Console Messages” or “All Messages” selections.
I happened to know that I didn’t need my logs up to that point, so I had no problem deleting them all. Be sure that you do not need your logs before doing this! Here’s the commands to run in Terminal to do it: