VCP 6 Study Note – Logs purposes and locations

This is not only a study, this could be a rapid guide to identify logs locations and their purposes.






  • VMkernel
    • Location: /var/log/vmkernel.log
    • Purpose: ESXi and VM activities
  • VMKernel warnings
    • Location: /var/log/vmkwarning.log
    • Purpose: VM activities
  • VMkernel summary
    • Location:/var/log/vmksummary.log
    • Purpose: uptime and statistics about ESXi
  • Host Agent
    • Location: /var/log/hostd.log
    • Purpose: info about agent that configure and manages ESXi host and VM
  • vCenter Agent
    • Location: /var/log/vpxa.log
    • Purpose: info about agent that communicates with vCenter (only if host is managed by vCenter)
  • Shell
    • Location: /var/log/shell.log
    • Purpose: commands typed into ESXi shell
  • Authentication
    • Location: /var/log/auth.log
    • Purpose: authentication events
  • System messages (aka syslog)
    • Location: /var/log/syslog.log
    • Purpose: messages that could be used for troubleshooting




In vSphere 6.x log files location directory are:

  • Windows vCenter Server: %ALLUSERSPROFILE%\VMWare\vCenterServer\logs
  • VCSA: /var/log/vmware/


  • vpxd
    • Location vCenter: vmware-vpx\vpxd.log
    • Location VCSA: vpxd/vpxd.log
    • Purpose: Main log file
  • Profiler
    • Location vCenter: vmware-vpx\vpxd-profiler.log
    • Location VCSA: vpxd/vpxd-profiler.log
    • Purpose: Profile metrics for operations in vCenter
  • Alert
    • Location vCenter: vmware-vpx\vpxd-alert.log
    • Location VCSA: vpxd/vpxd-alert.log
    • Purpose: Non-fatal info logged about vpxd process
  • Stats
    • Location vCenter: perfcharts\stats.log
    • Location VCSA: perfcharts/stats.log
    • Purpose: performance charts
  • EAM
    • Location vCenter: eam\eam.log
    • Location VCSA: eam/eam.log
    • Purpose: ESX agent manager
  • Inventory service
    • Location: inv-svc/inv-svc.log
    • Purpose: log by inventory service
    • Note: use inv-svc/wrapper.log for troubleshooting
  • Dump Collector
    • Location: netdump
    • Purpose: Collect ESXi Dump file
  • vapi
    • Location: vapi
    • Purpose: vAPI Endpont activities
  • vmdir
    • Location: vmdird
    • Purpose: Directory service activities
    • Infos in SSO LDAP: vmdird\vmdid-syslog.log
  • vSphere Syslog collector
    • Location vCenter: vmsyslogcollector
    • Location VCSA: syslog
  • Profile Drive Storage Services (SPS)
    • Location vCenter: vmware-sps\sps.log
    • Location VCSA: vmware-sps/sps.log
  • Database vPostgres:
    • Location: vpostgres
    • Purpose: vFabric Postgres database service activities
  • Web Client
    • Location: vsphere-client
    • Purpose: vSphere Web client activities
    • Troubleshooting informations error in vsphere web client: vpshere-client/logs/vsphere_client_virgo.log
    • can help to determine why web client doesn’t start or crash: vpshere-client/wrapper.log
  • System and HW Health Manager
    • Location: vws
  • Workflow manager
    • Location: workflow
  • Single Sign On (SSO)
    • Auth failures and problem on identity sources: sso/vmware-sts-idmd.log
    • Installation errors during config of vmdir (useful if adding another PSC on the same SSO domain): vmafd/vdcpromo.log
    • Infos in SSO LDAP: vmdird\vmdid-syslog.log



ESXi hosts store virtual machine-specific logging in the same directory as the virtual machine’s configuration files. Default name is vmware.log.

Multiple files could be present in the same directory which are rotated with vmware-#.log pattern.

It is possible to list the location of all files issue this command directly in esxi:

vim-cmd vmsvc/getallvms

The path of vmx file is the same of vmware.log .




For troubleshooting HA there is only one file located vCenter Server : /var/log/fdm.log. To troubleshoot agent installation problem see /var/log/fdm-installer.log



Microsoft windows installer logs are placed on:

  • Standard action log: *-msi.log in %TMP% folder
  • custom action logs: vminst.log in %TMP% folder
  • vc-install.txt (a human readable report of installation or upgrade process)

Note to parse a *-mis.log there is a tool called wilogutil.exe

First boot script log is located in %ProgramData%\VMware\CIS\logs\firstboot\:

  • firstbootStatus.json: JSON file contains the current status of the installation process.
  • firstbootInfrastructure.log: This log file contain messages that identify when the firstboot scripts were initiated and whether they completed successfully.
  • *_stdout.log: This log file is created to capture the standard output of each firstboot scripts.
  • *_stderr.log: This log file is created to capture the standard error of each firstboot scripts.


vCenter converter


For VMware vCenter Converter Standalone 5.x and 6.0 client logs in the converter are located in C:\ProgramData\VMware\VMware vCenter Converter Standalone\logs

Agent logs are located in:

  • C:\ProgramData\VMware\VMware vCenter Converter Standalone Agent\logs
  • %ALLUSERSPROFILE%\Application Data\VMware\VMware vCenter Converter Standalone Client\logs

For Linux system there are no client logs on source machine because they are stored on the server side.

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