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“vm-support” command in ESX/ESXi to collect diagnostic information (1010705)

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Purpose

VMware Technical Support routinely requests diagnostic information from you when a support request is handled. This diagnostic information contains product specific logs, configuration files, and data appropriate to the situation. The information is gathered using a specific script or tool for each product and can include a host support bundle from the ESXi host and vCenter Server support bundle. Data collected in a host support bundle may be considered sensitive. Additionally, as of vSphere 6.5, support bundles can include encrypted information from an ESXi host. For more information on what information is included in the support bundles, see Data collected when gathering diagnostic information from vSphere products (2147388).

This article provides procedures for obtaining diagnostic information for a VMware ESXi/ESX host using the vm-support command line utility. For other methods of collecting the same information, see Collecting diagnostic information for VMware ESXi/ESX using the vSphere Client (653) and Collecting diagnostic information for VMware ESXi/ESX using the vSphere PowerCLI (1027932).

The diagnostic information obtained by using this article is uploaded to VMware Technical Support. To uniquely identify your information, use the Support Request (SR) number you receive when you create the new SR.

Resolution

The command-line vm-support utility is present on all versions of VMware ESXi/ESX, though some of the options available with the utility differ among versions.

Running vm-support in a console session on ESXi/ESX hosts

The traditional way of using the vm-support command-line utility produces a gzipped tarball (.tgz file) locally on the host. The resulting file can be copied off the host using FTP, SCP, or another method.

  1. Open a console to the ESX or ESXi host. For more information, see Unable to connect to an ESX host using Secure Shell (SSH) (1003807), Tech Support Mode for Emergency Support (1003677), or Using Tech Support Mode in ESXi 4.1 (1017910).

  2. Run the command:

    vm-support

    Note: Additional options can be specified to customize the log bundle collection. Use the vm-support -h command for a list of options available on a given version of ESXi/ESX.

  3. A compressed bundle of logs is produced and stored in a file with a .tgz extension in one of these locations:

    • /var/tmp/
    • /var/log/
    • The current working directory
    • To export the log bundle to a shared vmfs datastore, use this command:

      vm-support -f -w /vmfs/volumes/DATASTORE_NAME

    Note: The -f option is not available in ESXi 5.x, ESXi/ESX 4.1 Update 3, and later.

  4. The log bundle is collected and downloaded to a client, upload the logs to the SFTP/FTP site. For more information, see Uploading diagnostic information to VMware (1008525).

Streaming vm-support output from an ESXi 5.x and 6.0 host

Starting with ESXi 5.0, the vm-support command-line utility supports streaming content to the standard output. This allows to send the content over an SSH connection without saving anything locally on the ESXi host.

  1. Enable SSH access to the ESXi shell. For more information, see Enable ESXi Shell and SSH Access with the Direct Console User Interface section in the vSphere Installation and Setup guide.

  2. Using a Linux or Posix client, such as the vSphere Management Assistant appliance, log in to the ESXi host and run the vm-support command with the streaming option enabled, specifying a new local file. A compressed bundle of logs is produced on the client at the specified location. For example:

    ssh root@ESXHostnameOrIPAddress vm-support -s > vm-support-Hostname.tgz

    Note: This requires you to enter a password for the root account, and cannot be used with lockdown mode.

  3. You can also direct the support log bundle to a desired datastore location using the same command (mentioning the destination path). For example:

    ssh root@ESXHostnameOrIPAddress 'vm-support -s > /vmfs/volumes/datastorexxx/vm-support-Hostname.tgz'

  4. After the log bundle has been collected and downloaded to a client, upload the logs to the SFTP/FTP site. For more information, see Uploading diagnostic information to VMware (1008525).

HTTP-based download of vm-support output from an ESXi 5.x and 6.0 host

Starting with ESXi 5.0, the vm-support command-line utility can be invoked via HTTP. This allows you to download content using a web browser or a command line tool like wget or curl.
  1. Using any HTTP client, download the resource from:

    https://ESXHostnameOrIPAddress/cgi-bin/vm-support.cgi

    For example, download the resource using the wget utility on a Linux or other Posix client, such as the vSphere Management Assistant appliance. A compressed bundle of logs is produced on the client at the specified location:

    wget https://10.11.12.13/cgi-bin/vm-support.cgi

  2. After the log bundle is collected and downloaded to a client, upload the logs to the SFTP/FTP site. For more information, see Uploading diagnostic information to VMware (1008525).

Additional Information

There have been updates for the vm-support command-line utility for some versions of VMware ESX 2.x and 3.x. Ensure that the version of vm-support on each ESX host is up to date. The minimum version listed provides improvements required to protect the security of your data when providing support information to VMware. For more information about these security improvements, see Data Security Best Practices - SSL keys for communicating with Virtual Center and other applications (1008166).

Verifying the version of the vm-support utility

Verify that your version of vm-support is at least that listed for your version of ESXi/ESX:
  • ESX Server 2.5.5 requires version 1.15 or higher
  • ESX Server 3.0.x requires version 1.29 or higher
  • ESXi/ESX Server 3.5 requires version 1.30 or higher
  • ESXi/ESX Server 4.x requires version 1.29 or higher
  • ESXi Server 5.x requires version 2.0 or higher
To see which version is installed on your system, run the vm-support command with no options and then cancel the collection, or run the command vm-support --version. For example:
  • [user@esxhost]$ cd /tmp
    [user@esxhost]$ vm-support

    VMware ESX Server Support Script 0.94

    Preparing Files: |

    [Ctrl+C to cancel]


  • [user@esxhost]$ vm-support --version
    vm-support v2.0

Updating the version of the vm-support utility on ESX

To update the vm-support utility on an ESX host:

  1. Open a console to the ESX host. For more information, see Unable to connect to an ESX host using Secure Shell (SSH) (1003807).
  2. Verify the version of the vm-support utility installed.
  3. Make a backup of the existing vm-support utility using the command:

    cp /usr/bin/vm-support /usr/bin/vm-support.old

  4. Download the appropriate file for your version of VMware ESX and place it in the /tmp/ directory in the service console of the ESX system.

    Note: Read the Acceptance of Terms Notice before running this download.

    Software Version Version Download Location md5sum
    ESX 2.5.5 1.15 http://download3.vmware.com/software/vi/
    ESX255-vm-support.tar
    5f148445d3f02caa5e5946c389dc41ed
    ESX 3.0.1 1.29 http://download3.vmware.com/software/vi/
    ESX301-vm-support.tgz
    bbb5e11ee6166775c81ab152d01068a8
    ESX 3.0.2 1.29 http://download3.vmware.com/software/vi/
    ESX302-vm-support.tar
    395184ab520cbf8f8d8de5fd9b5920e4
    ESX 3.0.3 1.29 http://download3.vmware.com/software/vi/
    ESX303-vm-support.tar
    798e0185ba86b49d0ed1e90deff84e6a
    ESX 3.5 1.30 http://download3.vmware.com/software/vi/
    ESX35Classic-vm-support.tar
    11af1759471892c240376cdf1e7a4ad0
    ESXi/ESX 4.x 1.29 vm-support is up to date for ESXi/ESX 4, no updates are available.
    ESXi 5.x 2.0 vm-support is up to date for ESXi/ESX 5, no updates are available.

  5. Run this command to extract the archived file:

    tar xvzf filename.tgz

  6. Verify that the MD5 sum of the vm-support file in the attachment matches the value for your software version listed in the table above. For example:

    md5sum vm-support

    11af1759471892c240376cdf1e7a4ad0   vm-support

  7. Copy the vm-support utility to the /usr/bin/ directory, replacing the original vm-support script.

    Note: When running on an older version of ESX, the updated script might report errors about missing commands.

Acceptance of Terms Notice

NOTICE: BY DOWNLOADING AND INSTALLING, COPYING OR OTHERWISE USING THESE KERNEL MODULES, INCLUDING DRIVERS, PLUG-INS, OR UPDATES, YOU UNDERSTAND AND AGREE THESE KERNEL MODULES ARE TO BE CONSIDERED RELATED COMPONENT(S) OF THE SOFTWARE UNDER THE TERMS OF YOUR VMWARE ESX END USER LICENSE AGREEMENT (“EULA”) AND YOUR USE OF THESE KERNEL MODULES IS GOVERNED BY THE TERMS OF YOUR EULA. IF YOU DO NOT AGREE TO THESE TERMS, YOU MAY NOT DOWNLOAD, INSTALL, COPY OR USE THESE KERNEL MODULES. "YOU" MEANS THE NATURAL PERSON OR THE ENTITY THAT IS AGREEING TO BE BOUND THESE TERMS, THEIR EMPLOYEES AND THIRD PARTY CONTRACTORS THAT PROVIDE SERVICES TO YOU. YOU SHALL BE LIABLE FOR ANY FAILURE BY SUCH EMPLOYEES AND THIRD PARTY CONTRACTORS TO COMPLY WITH THE TERMS OF THIS AGREEMENT.


For more information, see Collecting performance snapshots using vm-support in ESX and ESXi (1967).


Tags

vm-support,running vm-support,running vm-support from vma

See Also

Update History

08/27/2012 - Added command to export the log bundle to a shared vmfs datastore 12/03/2012 - Added note in step 3 for vm-support command 12/05/2013 - Added ESXi 5.x to Products

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