Troubleshooting macOS Management with Workspace ONE

TLDR: Did you check the logs?

Short post today - just to cover some thoughts on my most recent asset published to TechZone. I finally sat down and dug out all my notes on troubleshooting macOS and put them all together into a single, comprehensive macOS Troubleshooting Guide. This thing was the result of almost 46 hours of fingers on keys: typing, formatting, and testing. I truly hope you all get some value out of it, and do feel free to send me feedback if you’d like it extended and/or notice something missing.

What did I learn writing this guide

While I have been using the and log command line tool for awhile, this guide provided a great opportunity to really dig into the command line. One of the things I found most interesting was just how powerful the log command can be when you really take the time to understand the predicates. The predicates are what provide the most flexibility with searching and eliminating the noise when hunting the log values. As you start troubleshooting macOS, you’ll notice that log filtering via predicates is going to be your quickest win in discovering data about what’s happening on the system.

Another interesting learning was just how picky macOS can be about apostrophes and quotes. This is particularly problematic if you’re copying/pasting from two disparate formats - such as Microsoft Word to Terminal, or Web to Terminal. My best and quickest suggestion - if it doesn’t seem to work but you know it should, check for “Straight” quotation marks and not “Curly.”

Third, there was apparently a huge needa for a document like this. I didn’t expect to get so many kudos for something that had been sitting stagnant in my To-Do list for longer than I’d like to admin, but I’m glad it’s been well-received!

Finally, there’s so much detail in sysdiagnose files. Generate one and start digging around - you’ll be amazed at what you can find in there.

What’s the next step

With Freestyle orchestrator, scripts, and sensors all announced, you can bet I’ll be making some changes as I do some testing. I’ll be sure to publish an update when I’ve managed to get the bulk majority of the new items captured.

One thing I didn’t really get a chance to dig into yet is how the Developer Debug profiles (downloadable from Apple’s developer website) add more into the Unified Logging. As I come across an issue where I have a need to install those, I’ll be sure to add any new findings.


Thanks to the Unified Log that Apple introduced in macOS Sierra, pretty much anything you need to troubleshoot about macOS is going to be contained in the logs. Got a problem with macOS? Check the logging.

See also