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Is there a neater way to follow console messages in Terminal rather than tail -f tons of logs?

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We could help you better if you explained what you mean with "neater". Less output? Better-looking output? Filtered output? –  Beat Bolli Jul 22 '11 at 15:56
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Yes. The syslog(1) command-line tool lets you run detailed queries against the Apple System Logger (ASL) database, which is the central clearing house for all* log messages. See the man page. To exactly emulate seeing just the console log stream, use:

syslog -C -w all

*all: Some apps still open and write their own log files directly instead of using the ASL facilities. ASL can't see those.

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