Overview of Configuration Files and Log Files
ESX/ESXi and vCenter Server configuration files control the behavior of the system. Most configuration file settings are set during installation, but can be modified after installation. Log files capture messages generated by the kernel and different subsystems and services. ESX/ESXi and vCenter Server services maintain separate log files. Server and System Logs lists log files or reports, their locations and associated configuration files.
syslog.conf, logrotate.conf, various other
messages [messages.1,...
syslog.conf, logrotate.conf
Service console availability report
vmkernel [vmkernel.1, ... vmkernel.8]
syslog.conf, logrotate.conf
VMkernel messages, alerts, and availability reports
syslog.conf, logrotate.conf
vmkwarning [vmkwarning.1 ... 4 for history]
syslog.conf, logrotate.conf
For developers, the following files are most relevant:
hostd.log – Host daemon log, see ESX/ESXi Log File. Can be used as a SOAP monitor when set to trivia log level as inGenerating Logs.
vpxa.log – Agent log file found on each managed ESX/ESXi system.
vmware.log – Virtual machine log. See Virtual Machine Log Files.
In addition to viewing log files in real time you can also generate reports and complete diagnostic bundles. See Generating Diagnostic Bundles.
ESX/ESXi Log File
The ESX/ESXi log (hostd.log) captures information of varying specificity and detail, depending on the log level. Each request to the server is logged. You can view the file using the vSphere Client. The raw text form of an ESX/ESXi (hostd) log file is shown in Example: Sample ESX/ESXi Log (hostd.log) Data.
Example: Sample ESX/ESXi Log (hostd.log) Data
[2008-05-07 09:50:04.857 'SOAP' 2260 trivia] Received soap response from [TCP:myservername.vmware.com:443]: GetInterfaceVersion
[2008-05-07 09:50:04.857 'ClientConnection' 2260 info] UFAD interface version is vmware-converter-4.0.0
[2008-05-07 09:50:04.857 'SOAP' 2260 trivia] Sending soap request to [TCP:myservername.eng.vmware.com:443]: logout
[2008-05-07 09:50:04.857 'ProxySvc Req00588' 3136 trivia] Client HTTP stream read error
[2008-05-07 09:50:04.872 'ProxySvc Req00612' 3136 trivia] Request header:
POST /vmc/sdk HTTP/1.1
User-Agent: VMware-client
Content-Length: 435
Content-Type: text/xml; charset=utf-8
Cookie: vmware_soap_session="F127B435-56C7-4580-BAC4-3034DA1E67B6"; $Path=/
Host: myservername.vmware.com
[2008-05-07 09:50:04.872 'ProxySvc Req00588' 3816 trivia] Closed
[2008-05-07 09:50:08.450 'App' 3560 verbose] [VpxdHeartbeat] Invalid heartbeat from
[2008-05-07 09:50:10.013 'App' 3560 verbose] [VpxdHeartbeat] Queuing (host-55)
[2008-05-07 09:50:10.013 'App' 1928 verbose] [HeartbeatHandler] 50208862-2752-d94c-2a73-fa2ec9e38ecc:829 (host-55)
Virtual Machine Log Files
Each running virtual machine has its own log file, vmware.log, stored on the VMFS volume. By default, the log file is rotated whenever the virtual machine is powered on, but file rotation is configurable.
Example: VMkernel Availability Report
Availability Report for <servername>
Feb 27, 2008 - May 7, 2008
Availability: 99.949%
Total time: 69 days, 15 hours
Uptime: 69 days, 14 hours
Downtime: 51 minutes
Note: Downtime is any time the system isn't capable of running
Virtual Machines. This includes reboots, crashes, configuration and running linux
Downtime Analysis:
0.1% (51 minutes) downtime caused by:
13.1% (6 minutes) scheduled downtime
86.9% (44 minutes) unscheduled downtime
Reasons for scheduled downtime:
84.9% server rebooting (1 instance)
9.4% VMkernel unloaded (1 instance)
5.7% server booting (3 instances)
Reasons for unscheduled downtime:
100.0% unknown (powerfail / reset?) (1 instance)
Current uptime: 8 days, 11 hours
Longest uptime: 61 days, 2 hours
Shortest uptime: 38 minutes
Average uptime: 23 days, 4 hours
Longest downtime: 44 minutes
Shortest downtime: 7 seconds
Average downtime: 8 minutes
Maximum VMs Sampled: 1
Average VMs Sampled: 0.94
Server Information: Number of CPUs: 4 logical 4 cores
2 packages, Intel(R) Xeon(R) CPU 5150 @ 2.66GHz
Installed Memory: 2096416 kB
Current Build: 78591
Report generated Wed May 7 04:02:04 PDT 2008
vCenter Server Log Files
vCenter Server log files are located by default in the Documents and Settings subdirectory of the Windows account used to install the software. For example:
C:\Documents and Settings\Administrator\Local Settings\Application Data\VMware\
By default, the log files are hidden files. See the procedure for your Windows operating system to make the files visible.