When you read the man pages on Mac OS X, there are references to /var/log/messages, but if you look for the file, it doesn't exist:
$ ls -l /var/log/messages ls: /var/log/messages: No such file or directory
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If you refer to the man entry of syslog.conf, I guess the line is just an example:
# Log anything (except mail) of level info or higher. # Don't log private authentication messages! *.info;mail.none;authpriv.none /var/log/messages
If you want to use that directory in your configuration, you'll have to create it.
Edit: The actual syslog.conf on Mac OS X uses the
/var/log/system.log on Mac OS X. You're probably reading man pages from Linux based software which uses the
/var/log/messages file instead.
The var directory on Mac OS X is symlinked, if you do an ls -l on your root directory you'll see this:
lrwxr-xr-x@ 1 root admin 11 22 Feb 2008 var -> private/var
So your var folder is located at:
However, I am unable to locate the messages folder or file within the log folder, so I can't help you with that part of the question.
Edit: On further inspection, it looks as though the only thing in /var/log/messages on my RHEL server is sshd warning logs. Maybe the Mac OS X sshd binary logs to
What messages are you looking for? You might want to try
$ cat /var/log/[process name]
and see if each process writes out its own message file.