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ESXi 5.0 reports multiple issues with syslog configuration (2016914)

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On ESXi 5.0, you experience these symptoms:
  • ESXi 5.0 has stopped logging.
  • The /scratch/log location contains only the old log files.
  • The /var/log/ directory is missing key log files including auth.log , fdm.log , hostd.log , syslog.log , vmkernel.log , vmksummary.log , and vmkwarning.log , vpxa.log.
  • Cannot enable HA.
  • Enabling HA fails with the error:
Cannot install the vCenter agent service. Unknown installer error

Note: A misconfiguration of syslogd should not cause HA/FDM to fail in ESXi 5.0 Update 1.

Update Manager:
  • Cannot scan or remediate an ESXi 5.0 host.
  • Scanning or remediating an ESXi 5.0 host fails with the error:

    VMware vSphere Update Manager had an unknown error: Check the events and log files for detail
  • Running the esxcli software vib list command fails with the error:
# Got no data from process /usr/lib/vmware/esxcli-software vib.list
  • Running esxcli commands manually fail with the error:
# ./esxcli-software vib.list
Traceback (most recent call last):
File "./esxcli-software", line 432, in <module>
File "./esxcli-software", line 78, in setupLogging
handler = logging.handlers.SysLogHandler(address='/dev/log')
File "/build/mts/release/bora-469512/bora/build/esx/release/python-2.6-lib-zip-stage/469512/visor/pylib/python2.6/logging/", line 704, in __init__
File "/build/mts/release/bora-469512/bora/build/esx/release/python-2.6-lib-zip-stage/469512/visor/pylib/python2.6/logging/", line 719, in _connect_unixsocket
File "<string>", line 1, in connect
socket.error: [Errno 2] No such file or directory

  • Unable to run the vmsyslogd process.
  • Running the ps | grep vmsyslogd command shows no running vmsyslog daemon.
  • Manually starting vmsyslog daemon fails. To restart vmsyslogd run:
# /bin/python -OO /usr/lib/vmware/vmsyslog/bin/vmsyslogd -i

The /var/log/.vmsyslogd.err log file contains messages similar to:

vmsyslog.config : ERROR ] Config error: Failed to resolve remote host: hostname.local
vmsyslog.config : ERROR ] parse config failed?
vmsyslog.main : ERROR ] Watchdog 5698 fired (child 5699 died with status 256)!
vmsyslog.main : ERROR ] Watchdog 5864 exiting

vmsyslog.config : ERROR ] Config error: Invalid config: could not create datstore directory
vmsyslog.config : ERROR ] parse config failed?
vmsyslog.main : ERROR ] Watchdog 5857 exiting
vmsyslog.main : ERROR ] Watchdog 5864 fired (child 5865 died with status 256)!
vmsyslog.main : ERROR ] Watchdog 5864 exiting


If the ESXi Syslog Daemon has failed or cannot start because of a misconfiguration, the host will have issues in:
  • Configuring HA/FDM
  • Performing esxcli commands
  • Scanning or remediating the ESXi Host using Update Manager
  • Normal ESXi logging
Misconfiguration of the /etc/vmsyslog.conf file results in failure of vmsyslog.


This issue is resolved in ESXi 5.0, Patch ESXi500-201207401-BG. For more information, see VMware ESXi 5.0, Patch ESXi500-201207401-BG: Updates esx-base (2019108).
Note: After applying the patch, you may still have to restart vmsyslogd.
To work around this issue:
  1. Resolve the misconfiguration in the /etc/vmsyslog.conf file. For information relating to the misconfiguration, see the /var/log/.vmsyslogd.err file.
  2. Restart vmsyslog daemon using this command:

    /bin/python -OO /usr/lib/vmware/vmsyslog/bin/vmsyslogd -i

    Note: For an alternative method to restart the vmsyslogd service, see Scanning an ESXi 5.0 host fails after redirecting VMware Update Manager logs to a syslog server (2014538).

See Also

Update History

04/01/2013 - Added note about restarting vmsyslogd

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