A virtual machine is a software computer that, like a physical computer, runs an operating system and applications. The virtual machine is comprised of a set of specification and configuration files and is backed by the physical resources of a host. Every virtual machine has virtual devices that provide the same functionality as physical hardware, and have additional benefits in terms of portability, manageability, and security.

A virtual machine consists of several types of files that you store on a supported storage device. The key files that make up a virtual machine are the configuration file, virtual disk file, NVRAM setting file, and the log file. You configure virtual machine settings through the vSphere Client and should not need to touch these files.

Virtual Machine Files lists the complete set of files that make up a virtual machine. A virtual machine can have more files if one or more snapshots exist or if you add Raw Device Mappings (RDMs).

Caution

Do not change, move, or delete these files without instructions from a VMware Technical Support Representative.

Virtual Machine Files

File

Usage

Description

.vmx

vmname.vmx

Virtual machine configuration file

.vmxf

vmname.vmxf

Additional virtual machine configuration files

.vmdk

vmname.vmdk

Virtual disk characteristics

-flat.vmdk

vmname-flat.vmdk

Preallocated virtual disk

.nvram

vmname.nvram or nvram

Virtual machine BIOS

.vmsd

vmname.vmsd

Virtual machine snapshots

.vmsn

vmname.vmsn

Virtual machine snapshot data file

.vswp

vmname.vswp

Virtual machine swap file

.vmss

vmname.vmss

Virtual machine suspend file

.log

vmware.log

Current virtual machine log file

-#.log

vmware-#.log (where # is a number starting with 1)

Old virtual machine log entries