Mac OS X Crash Reporter Analysis

I stumbled upon a folder named “CrashReporter” while doing some testing on my Mac. As the name suggests, CrashReporter is a debugging facility in Mac OS X that logs all programs that crash. You might say it is more suitable for developer and advanced users. I still think it is still worth to take a look. On my system, I discovered 3 files inside “CrashReporter” folder. As I remember, the timestamp was most likely the time that my Mac crashed on these occasions.

What got my interest is that one of the plist file “interval_XXXXXXXXX.plist”. Under the field “appDuration”, it logged the applications running on the system and it’s duration (I have not figure out the units for the duration).

When a program crashes, CrashReporter will log the details. On my Mac, I found that it is stored in ~/Library/Application Support/CrashReporter. While doing some searching on the Internet, crash logs are typically stored in ~/Library/Logs/CrashReporter/. Instead of finding crash logs of my Mac, I found a subfolder named “MobileDevice” and a folder named after my iPhone. In this folder, contained crash logs of my iPhone and it’s applications.

In the folder “~/Library/Logs/CrashReporter/ folder, each crash is distinctly saved into 2 files: one *.crash file and one *.plist. If you want to look at the detail of the crash, you probably may want to look at crash file.

According to Mac OS X Reference Library,  it is possible that crash logs are stored in /Library/Logs/CrashReporter/ and these circumstances may be due to that the ownership of the crash process was owned by root or the ownership cannot be determined, or the user’s home directory is not available.

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Credits and References

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