Virtual machine executable (VMX) swap files allow the host to greatly reduce the amount of overhead memory reserved for the VMX process.


VMX swap files are not related to the swap to host swap cache feature or to regular host-level swap files.

ESXi reserves memory per virtual machine for a variety of purposes. Memory for the needs of certain components, such as the virtual machine monitor (VMM) and virtual devices, is fully reserved when a virtual machine is powered on. However, some of the overhead memory that is reserved for the VMX process can be swapped. The VMX swap feature reduces the VMX memory reservation significantly (for example, from about 50MB or more per virtual machine to about 10MB per virtual machine). This allows the remaining memory to be swapped out when host memory is overcommitted, reducing overhead memory reservation for each virtual machine.

The host creates VMX swap files automatically, provided there is sufficient free disk space at the time a virtual machine is powered on.