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ESXi: where are my log files actually stored? Actually, most of them are in `/scratch/log` which points to a hidden `.locker` directory in a datastore.

Posted by jpluimers on 2021/05/05

A summary of the full gist at [Wayback/Archive.is] ESXi-where-are-my-log-files-stored.txt:

# ls -al / /var/ /var/log/ /var/run/ /scratch/ /scratch/log/ | grep "/\|log\|-\>"
/:
...
lrwxrwxrwx    1 root     root            57 Apr  4 18:16 scratch -> /vmfs/volumes/5ce2d440-72311161-75c5-0025907d9d5c/.locker
...
/scratch/:
drwxr-xr-x    1 root     root        106496 Apr 10 08:40 log
/scratch/log/:
-rw-------    1 root     root           411 Apr  4 18:20 Xorg.log
...
-rw-------    1 root     root         78835 Apr  4 10:30 syslog.0.gz
-rw-------    1 root     root         61136 Mar 18 15:05 syslog.1.gz
-rw-------    1 root     root         60589 Feb 24 00:30 syslog.2.gz
-rw-------    1 root     root         60373 Feb  1 08:01 syslog.3.gz
-rw-------    1 root     root         60203 Jan  9 15:50 syslog.4.gz
-rw-------    1 root     root         59889 Dec 17 23:20 syslog.5.gz
-rw-------    1 root     root         60398 Nov 25 06:50 syslog.6.gz
-rw-------    1 root     root         60563 Nov  2 14:25 syslog.7.gz
-rw-------    1 root     root        531794 Apr 10 09:35 syslog.log
...
-rw-------    1 root     root        157255 Apr  4 18:17 vvold.log
/var/:
...
drwxr-xr-x    1 root     root           512 Apr  5 19:19 log
...
/var/log/:
-rw-r--r--    1 root     root           416 Apr  4 18:16 .vmsyslogd.err
...
-rw-r--r--    1 root     root         38069 Apr  4 18:20 configRP.log
-rw-r--r--    1 root     root             0 Apr  4 18:16 cryptoloader.log
...
-rw-r--r--    1 root     root            87 Apr  5 21:57 esxcli.log
...
-rw-------    1 root     root          3350 Apr  4 18:16 init.log
-rw-r--r--    1 root     root           966 Apr  4 18:16 iofilter-init.log
...
-rw-r--r--    1 root     root         21769 Apr  4 18:16 jumpstart-esxcli-stdout.log
-rw-r--r--    1 root     root         18857 Apr  4 18:16 jumpstart-native-stdout.log
-rw-r--r--    1 root     root         10837 Apr  4 18:16 jumpstart-stdout.log
-rw-r--r--    1 root     root             0 Apr  4 18:16 kickstart.log
...
-rw-------    1 root     root         10916 Apr  4 18:16 sysboot.log
...
-rw-------    1 root     root            64 Apr 10 09:13 tallylog
...
/var/run/:
lrwxrwxrwx    1 root     root            12 Apr  4 18:16 log -> /scratch/log
  • Almost all log files (most from /var/log and all from /var/run/log) are actually persistently stored in /scratch/log and survive reboots. Just a few are non-persistent.
  • /var/log/syslog is being archived as .gz files (compressed by gzip).
  • syslog is special: the location can be configured, and even be external: [Wayback] Configuring syslog on ESXi (2003322)

    VMware vSphere ESXi 5.0 and higher hosts run a Syslog service (vmsyslogd) that provides a standard mechanism for logging messages from the VMkernel and other system components. By default in ESXi, these logs are placed on a local scratch volume or a ramdisk. To preserve the logs further, ESXi can be configured to place these logs to an alternate storage location on disk and to send the logs across the network to a Syslog server.

  • A summary of some of the above log files is at [Wayback] ESXi Log File Locations

–jeroen

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