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Is there a way to figure out what triggered a shutdown on OSX if the shutdown has been "blocked" by some application?

I don't know what's causing my new Macbook Pro to random just want to shut off. Fortunately, some program like VLC usually stops it from shutting down, but I'd like to get to the bottom of this problem.

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up vote 3 down vote accepted

Usually you can see when the system goes to shutdown opening, looking for messages from kernel or even shutdown itself.

enter image description here

If you then know the exact time of the shutdown, you can look for messages by other processes sent immediately before that. It however depends on the process sending messages at all, so your mileage may vary.

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