VMFS volume open without Filesystem Journal
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VMFS volume open without Filesystem Journal


Article ID: 324739


Updated On:


VMware vCenter Server VMware vSphere ESXi



This event indicates that the reported VMFS filesystem is full and ESX is unable to create space for the filesystem journal.
VMFS uses an on-disk journal to perform metadata updates. This requires that VMFS allocates space for the journal when the file system is first accessed. When the file system is full, it is unable to allocate space for the journal. (The file system might be full due to older journals not being released, for example, during an unclean shutdown of the host system.)


If san-100 is a VMFS volume and is running out of filesystem space, this error is displayed:

No space for journal on volume 496befed-1c79c817-6beb-001ec9b60619 (san-lun-100). Opening volume in read-only metadata mode with limited write support.


VMware VirtualCenter 2.5.x
VMware ESXi 4.0.x Installable
VMware vCenter Server 4.0.x
VMware ESXi 3.5.x Installable
VMware ESX 4.0.x
VMware ESX Server 3.5.x
VMware ESXi 3.5.x Embedded
VMware ESXi 4.0.x Embedded


This article explains the behavior of the OpenWithoutJournal option. There is no solution.
To reclaim space, VMFS starts a garbage collection procedure. This procedure is time consuming (a few seconds) and increases the response time of some file system operations, such as opening files, listing files in a directory, and browsing a datastore through vCenter Server.

This system impact can be eliminated by using the OpenWithoutJournal configuration option. The default value is 1, which enables the file system to open in read-only mode when VMFS is full and there is no space available for the journal. This allows file system reads but prevents metadata updates such as creating and deleting files.
The only time you need to enable the on-disk journal operation is when this warning message is written to the VMware ESX Server log files (/var/log/vmkernel or /var/log/vmkwarning):

Set 'OpenWithoutJournal' advanced option to 0 to attempt freeing up space for journal. If this fails, volume is not opened.

Setting the value to 0 enables VMFS to try to free space for the journal the next time the file system is accessed. If the garbage collection fails to free space for journal, the VMFS file-system fails to open.
To set the OpenWithoutJournal value:
  1. In the vSphere Client or Virtual Infrastructure Client inventory, select the host.
  2. Click the Configuration tab.
  3. Under Software, click Advanced Settings.
    The Advanced Settings window displays.
  4. In the inventory, click VMFS3.
  5. In the VMFS3.OpenWithoutJournal field, enter 0.
  6. Click OK.