VMware ESXi Diagnostic Logs

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In this blog, we will discuss the procedure to get the VMware ESXi/Hosts diagnostic logs. VMware technical support might request several files to help resolve technical issues. During internal troubleshooting, you might need to check the basic logs for yourself to identify the issue even before going to raise any case with VMware.

There are many components/locations available where you can see the various logs by logging to ESXi via putty itself. Let’s understand the VMware ESXi Log File Locations.


VMkernel contains records activities related to virtual machines and ESXi.

File Location/directory:


VMkernel Warnings

VMkernel warnings contains records activities related to virtual machines.

File Location/directory:


VMkernel Summary

It is used to determine uptime and availability statistics for ESXi.

File Location/directory:


ESXi Host Agent Log

ESXi Host Agent Log contains information about the agent that manages and configures the ESXi host and its virtual machines.

File Location/directory:


vCenter Agent Log

It contains information about the agent that communicates with vCenter Server (if the host is managed by vCenter Server).

File Location/directory:


Shell Log

Shell log contains a record of all commands typed into the ESXi Shell and related events.

File Location/directory:


Authentication Logs

It contains all events related to authentication for the local system.

File Location/directory:


System Messages

It contains all general log messages and can be used for troubleshooting.

File Location/directory:


Virtual Machines

It contains virtual machine power events, system failure information, tools status and activity, time sync, virtual hardware changes, vMotion migrations, machine clones, and so on. You can the same virtual machines logs hosted on affected ESXi if required to know more on it.

File Location/directory:

/vmfs/volumes/datastore/virtual machine/vwmare.log

How To Export System Log Files Of An ESXi

Your host must be connected to vCenter server to export the system logs file of an ESXi. You should have at least read-only permission for the same. Please follow the below steps to get the system logs:

  1. Navigate to Host and Cluster from Home Menu.
  2. Right Click on Target Host and select Export System Logs.
export system logs of an esxi
export system logs of an esxi

3. Once you click on Export System Logs, It will give you another window where you can start exporting the logs.

export system logs of an esxi
export system logs of an esxi

4. After clicking on Export Logs, It will take few minutes to gather the logs and gives you an option to download it.

Export the ESXi Support Bunddle Logs If host is not connected to vCenter Server

This is one of the best option to get the esxi system logs if it is not connected to vCenter server. You need to follow below steps:

  1. Login to web client of ESXi by using below URL method and with root credentials:

2. Once you logged in, click on Action button. Then click on Generate support bundle.

esxi support bundle
esxi support bundle

3. It will take sometime to collect the esxi logs, can be monitored in recents tasks tab.

4. Once completes the task, you will be given an option to download it.

Download esxi support bundle
download esxi support bundle

How to diagnostic information for VMware ESXi using ESXi Shell

This is also a method to get the support bundle logs for an ESXi. You need to follow below steps:

  1. SSH to the ESXi with root
  2. Run the command vm-support from the command line.
  3. It will start downloading the support bundle that later can be used with the VMware support team for diagnostic purposes.

Another method is DCUI(Direct Console User Interface). Follow the steps below:

  • On iLO/IMM/iDRAC page, take the console of ESXi.
  • Click F2 to see view system logs
  • You will be able to see below options:
    • <1>Syslog
    • <2>VMkernal
    • <3>Config
    • <4>Management Agent(hostd)
    • <5>vCenter Agent(vpxa)
    • <6> VMware ESXi Observation log(vobd)
  • You can press the corresponding key to view the log at the console itself.

Hope this would help you to get the esxi system diagnostic logs easily.

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