Which ESX log file

Quite a few customers have asked me how to look at ESX logs themselves. They know support often requests these logs to diagnose problems and want to know what’s in these logs. Here you go. A shortlist of the log files found in VMware ESX Server.

[We have a corresponding list for Virtual Center here]

• Vmkernel – /var/log/vmkernel – records activities related to the virtual machines and ESX server.

• Vmkernel Warnings – /var/log/vmkwarning – This log is a copy of everything marked as a warning or higher severity from vmkernel log. It is much easier to look through this for warnings and errors, instead of filtering through the full information in the vmkernel logs.

• Vmkernel Summary – /var/log/vmksummary – Used to determine uptime and availability statistics for ESX Server; human-readable summary found in /var/log/vmksummary.txt

• ESX Server host agent log – /var/log/vmware/hostd.log – Contains information on the agent that manages and configures the ESX Server host and its virtual machines (Search the file date/time stamps to find the log file it is currently outputting to).

• Service Console – /var/log/messages – This log is the log from the Linux kernel (service console), which is generally only potentially useful in the case of a host hang, crash, authentication issue, or 3rd party app acting up. This log has NOTHING to do with virtual machines. The SERVICE CONSOLE (red hat kernel) has NO awareness of the VMs (worlds) running on the VMKERNEL.

• Web Access – /var/log/vmware/webAccess – Records information on Web-based access to ESX Server.

• Authentication log – /var/log/secure – Contains records of connections that require authentication, such as VMware daemons and actions initiated by the xinetd daemon.

• VirtualCenter agent – /var/log/vmware/vpx – Contains information on the agent that communicates with VirtualCenter.

• Virtual Machines – The same directory as the affected virtual machine’s configuration files; named vmware.log – Contain information when a virtual machine crashes or ends abnormally.

Log FileNameDetails
/var/log/vmkernelVmkernelRecords activities related to the virtual machines and ESX host
/var/log/vmkwarningVmkernel WarningsA copy of everything marked as a warning or higher severity from vmkernel log. Easier to look through than vmkernel log
/var/log/vmksummaryVmkernel SummaryUsed for availability and uptime statistics. Human-readable summary in vmksummary.txt
/var/log/vmware/hostd.logHost Agent LogContains information on the agent that manages and configures the ESX host and its virtual machines
/var/log/vmware/vpxVirtualCenter AgentContains information on the agent that communicates with VirtualCenter
/var/log/messagesService ConsoleLog from the Linux kernel. Useful for underlying Linux issues. The kernel has no awareness of VMs running on the VMkernel
/var/log/vmware/esxcfg-boot.logESX Boot LogESX Boot log, logs all ESX boot events
/var/log/vmware/webAccessWeb AccessRecords information on Web-based access to ESX Server
/var/log/secureAuthentication LogContains records of connections that require authentication, such as VMware daemons and actions initiated by the xinetd daemon
/var/log/vmware/esxcfg-firewall.logESX Firewall LogContains all firewall rule events
/var/log/vmware/aamHigh Availability LogContains information related to the High Availability (HA) service
/var/log/vmware/esxupdate.logESX Update LogLogs all updates completed using the esxupdate tool

There’s a new Knowledgebase article on this here: VMware KB: https://kb.vmware.com/kb/1021806 Location of log files for VMware products

https://kb.vmware.com/kb/1035811 Location of VMware vCenter Converter log files