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Locating virtual machine log files on an ESXi/ESX host (1007805)

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This article provides information on locating virtual machine log files on an ESXi/ESX host.


By default, ESXi/ESX hosts store virtual machine-specific logging in the same directory as the virtual machine's configuration files. The default log file name is vmware.log.

For archival purposes, the log is renamed with a sequential number added to the end, and a new vmware.log file is created. Archived log files are named vmware-#.log. The most recent archived version is named vmware-1.log. When the vmware.log file is next archived, the existing vmware-1.log file is renamed vmware-2.log.

Virtual machine logs can be reconfigured to archive at different intervals, with different names, in different volumes, or when the log reaches a specific size. For more information, see  Log rotation and logging options for vmware.log (8182749)

To identify the location of vmware.log files:

  1. Establish an SSH session to your host. For ESXi hosts, see Using Tech Support Mode in ESXi 4.1 and ESXi 5.0 (1017910). For ESX hosts, see Opening a command or shell prompt (1003892).
  2. Log in to the host's terminal.
  3. To list the locations of the configuration files for the virtual machines registered on the host:
    • For ESXi, run the command:

      vim-cmd vmsvc/getallvms

    • For ESX, run the command:

      vmware-cmd -l

  4. Search the results for the name of a virtual machine file you want to locate.
  5. The vmware.log file is located in virtual machine folder along with the vmx file. 
  6. Record the location of the .vmx configuration file for the virtual machine you are troubleshooting. For example:


  7. If the virtual machine is not registered on the host and you want to search for the configuration file, run this command:

    find /vmfs -name "*.vmx”

Additional Information

See Also

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