A virtual machine is a software computer that, like a physical computer, runs an operating system and applications. The virtual machine consists 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 are more portable, more secure, and easier to manage.

A virtual machine consists of several files that are stored on a storage device. The key files are the configuration file, virtual disk file, NVRAM setting file, and log file. You configure virtual machine settings through the vSphere Web Client, one of the vSphere command-line interfaces (PowerCLI, vCLI) or the vSphere Web Services SDK.

Caution

Do not change, move, or delete virtual machine 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

Virtual machine data disk

.nvram

vmname.nvram or nvram

Virtual machine BIOS or EFI configuration

.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 files