Wednesday, June 10th, 2009...11:20 am

Disable spindump on OS X to prevent system slowdowns

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Every notice how slow and sluggish your OS X Leopard system can be after an application crash?

This is probably because of the spindump utility that OS X launches to create crash and “hang” reports located in /Library/Logs/HangReporter.

This is all fine and good, but spindump has an annoying habit of thrashing your system disk and eating up a sizable chunk of RAM. Personally, the MAJOR annoyance isn’t worth the aggravation just to get a useless “hang” report like the following.

Date/Time:      2008-07-09 16:33:26 -0400
OS Version:     10.5.4 (Build 9E17)
Architecture:   i386
Report Version: 4

Command:        Skitch
Path:           /Applications/Skitch.app/Contents/MacOS/Skitch
Version:        1.0b6.2 (1.0b6.2 (v10678))
Parent:         launchd [107]

PID:            377
Event:          hang
Time:           7.75s
Steps:          1

I’m sure there are many ways to disable this utility, but here is a quick an easy method I used to prevent the “sluggishness” after an app crash

sudo -i
cd /usr/sbin
mv spindump spindump.disabled
ln -s /usr/bin/true /usr/sbin/spindump

Problem solved!

7 Comments

  • Shouldn’t line 2 be /usr/sbin?
    BTW, spindump seems to start even before the crash. It seems to free thing up a bit for safari and Java apps, but that’s just me guessing because I get lots of spindumps, but no crashes for apps that take a lot of time to do their work.

  • Thanks for this.

    Yes, line 2 should be

    cd /usr/sbin

  • Thanks, code has been fixed to reflect

    cd /usr/sbin
  • Hi!

    I’m trying to get rid of spindump but when I try to run this script on script Editor I always get the error message “Expected end of line, etc., but found identifier.

    Can you guys help, please?

    Thanx

  • @Eloy,

    The four lines of code are meant to be entered into your command prompt (e.g. Terminal.app), not via AppleScript Editor.

    Just fire up a terminal and enter the lines one by one (each one is an individual command).

  • Does this disable the ability to generate crash reports? Are these reports not diagnostically helpful, if not to you, then to whomever at Apple you might speak to, etc.? I honestly am just a tinkerer and even I have learned and fixed things with the reports. My second item (and these are just queries, I do appreciate learning how to disable spindump if need be) is that on my particular Mac, I don’t find (via Activity Monitor) that spindump takes up THAT much CPU, maybe 10-12%. I only googled it just to make sure that it was a legitimate process that was running.

  • @David

    It’s really a user preference. The hang report logs created by Spindump are different that the OS X crash logs as you can see from the example I posted.

    In some cases Spindump just seems to take 100% CPU and even hundreds of megs of RAM after and app crash. For me, this annoyance makes the output generated by the utility not worth it at all so I choose o turn it off completely and save myself the headache.

© 2017 Craig P Jolicoeur.