Browsing vVOL Datastore from ESXI Shell.
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Browsing vVOL Datastore from ESXI Shell.


Article ID: 311904


Updated On:


VMware vSphere ESXi


Users may want to list the content of a vVOL datastore through the shell. The purpose of the article to provide an alternative method and give context to users about how a vVOL datastore could be accessed from an ESXi Shell, which is different from how VMFS can be accessed.


Using "ls" in an ESXi shell might cause ESXi to be stuck for a long time to list the directories in a vVOL datastore.


VMware vSphere ESXi 7.0.2


With vVOL the datastore directory is a folder that will dynamically mount config vVOLs as sub-folders as needed. The config vVOLs each contain a VMFS filesystem and normally maps to a VM home folder. The command "ls" being used to list the content of a vVOL datastore would unfortunately try to bind all the config vVOLs in the datastore and this could make the ESXi shell non responsive and can cause issues with ongoing vVOL workloads on the ESXi host when a vVOL datastore holds many VMs.


This is a limitation as per design. The alternate is to use the workaround.


Users should use the "/usr/lib/vmware/osfs/bin/osfs-ls" command to list the content of vVOL datastores and must avoid using "ls" command with vVOL datastores. 'osfs-ls' is an alternative utility program to browse an object storage datastore, like vVOL datastores, without impacting the ESXi performance. The utility can be used to browse a datastore from CLI on even larger datastores without performance impact on existing workloads.