Log rotation and logging options for vmware.log
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Log rotation and logging options for vmware.log


Article ID: 343031


Updated On:


VMware vSphere ESXi


This article describes the configurable options that are available for a virtual machine vmware.log file.

This log file records information specific to a running instance of a virtual machine, such as startup configuration, operations, and shutdown of the virtual machine.


VMware ESX Server 2.5.x
VMware ESXi 3.5.x Embedded
VMware ESXi 4.1.x Installable
VMware vSphere ESXi 5.1
VMware ESXi 4.0.x Embedded
VMware ESX 4.1.x
VMware ESX Server 3.0.x
VMware vSphere ESXi 5.0
VMware ESXi 3.5.x Installable
VMware vSphere ESXi 5.5
VMware ESX Server 3.5.x
VMware ESX 4.0.x
VMware ESXi 4.1.x Embedded
VMware vSphere ESXi 6.0
VMware ESXi 4.0.x Installable


There are four options you can use to change virtual machine logging and log rotation behaviors:

The logging setting

The logging setting allows you to turn logging on or off.

To turn logging to off, enter logging=false in the virtual machines .vmx file. To turn logging back on, change logging=false to logging=true.

The log.rotateSize setting

By default, the virtual machine log file vmware.log is rotated as a result of the virtual machine's Power On or Power Off operation.

To configure log rotation based on file size, include this option in the virtual machines .vmx file:

log.rotateSize = maximum size in bytes the file can grow to

This example specifies the vmware.log file to be rotated when its size reaches 182 kilobytes:

log.rotateSize = 186368

Note: log.rotateSize is not available for vmx use in certain versions of ESXi 5.1 and 5.5. Adding this option in the virtual machine configuration file (.vmx) file does not have any effect. For more information, see the Security section of the vSphere 5.1 Update 3 Release Notes.

The log.keepOld setting

By default, all versions of ESX and ESXi from 3.0 through 6.0 keep 6 rotations of the vmware.log file vmware.log, vmware-1.log, vmware-2.log, ... etc.

To change the level of rotation, use the log.keepOld option in the virtual machines .vmx file.

This example specifies the level of rotation to be 10:

log.keepOld = 10

The log.fileName setting

To specify an alternative location or filename for virtual machine logging, use the log.fileName option in the virtual machines .vmx file.

This example specifies myVMlog as the new file for logs instead of the default vmware.log:

log.fileName = myVMlog

This example directs logs to be written to an alternate directory called myVM in a different VMFS volume, vol1:

log.fileName = /vmfs/volumes/vol1/myVM/myVM.log

Additional Information

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