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I'd like to document changes I made to my computer (running MacOS 10.6.8) to be able to identify the sources of eventual problems. Mostly I install updates when a software notifies me about a newer version and offers me a dialog to download and install the update.

Currently I'm documenting those updates "by hand" by noting in a text file, when I have e. g. installed a Flash-Player update or updated another 3rd party software ...

I wonder if I could achieve that easier and semi-automatically by parsing system logfiles for certain texts like "install" and that way directly get the relevant information:

  • what has been installed (Software and version)
  • when has been installed
  • where has it been installed/what has changed

Is there a way to extract such information by a script from the existing logfiles?

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I'm not sure about 10.6, but on 10.8 /Library/Receipts/InstallHistory.plist contains a history of installed packages and software updates.

The bom files in /var/db/receipts/ contain a list of changed paths. They're in a binary format, but you can show their contents with lsbom.

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Thanks, both directories also exist in 10.6 and contain valuable information. However, e. g. for today they do contain only the update of Flash Player, but not the other 3 updates of tools I have installed (which is: some Quicksilver modules and updates for 2 other 3rd party tools "Fantastical" and "OptimalLayout") – MostlyHarmless Nov 25 '12 at 10:29

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