Super User is a question and answer site for computer enthusiasts and power users. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

Just wondering if there's a free software for mac that checks which files are opened/read or written during the execution of a given software and return them like a three graph. I'm sure I saw something similar in past but I can't remember its name.

Thanks in advance!

share|improve this question
up vote 2 down vote accepted

You may be thinking of fseventer, but it only shows changed files (not those just being read), and shows all changes not just those by a specific program.

Other possible not-quite answers: in Activity Monitor, you can "inspect" a process and (if you own it) see what files it has open. In Terminal, you can use the lsof command to list files opened by all of your processes (if you're an admin, you can use sudo lsof to see processes you don't own). Also check out the Terminal commands fs_usage, filebyproc.d, opensnoop, and rwsnoop. Finally, if you have Xcode (Apple's developer tools suite), check out Instruments.

share|improve this answer

fseventer also has an option to include files that are just opened:

opensnoop prints files opened by processes:

sudo opensnoop -n processname
share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.