Andrew Canion

10 Nov 2019

Catalina and wifidiagnostics files multiplying like Tribbles

I’ve got problems with my Catalina install. I have wifidiagnostics files multiplying like tribbles in my private/var/tmp/ folder. With each of these files weighing in between 200Mb and 400Mb, my entire SSD is being swamped with these files, to the point of the operating system being crippled for lack of disk space.

I thought a short-term interim solution would be to set up a Hazel watch script to automatically trash these files as they are created. I’ve hit a problem with this as well, because they are system files the user doesn’t have adequate permissions to delete them, so Hazel isn’t able to do it. I haven’t yet figured out how to combine some kind of chmod or chown command within Hazel to get it to change permissions and then delete the files.

In searching for a solution on the web, I’ve only found one other mention of the problem.

I have deleted all my wifi settings and rebuilt them. I have deleted a security profile I had. I have toggled the enable/disable diagnostics by option-clicking the wifi menubar icon to see if that might rewrite a .plist file. Nothing has resolved it to date.

I think this must be an underlying bug in the wifi networking frameworks of Catalina, but that’s above my pay grade.

I hope it’s resolved in a future update. For now, it’s an annoying bug, and another indicator that Apple’s software quality is not where it should be.