This is reference article for VMware ESXi 5.x logs, their locations and use-cases.

Log File Location

Description

Troubleshooting

/var/log/auth.log

ESXi Shell authentication success and failure

Security

/var/log/dhclient.log

DHCP client service, including discovery, address lease requests and renewals

Networking

/var/log/esxupdate.log

ESXi patch and update installation logs

Updates, Security

/var/log/hostd.log

Host management service logs, including virtual machine and host Task and Events, communication with the vSphere Client and vCenter Server vpxa agent, and SDK connections.

vCenter, Events, Security, Networking

/var/log/shell.log

ESXi Shell usage logs, including enable/disable and every command entered

Security

/var/log/sysboot.log

Early VMkernel startup and module loading

Host

/var/log/syslog.log

Management service initialization, watchdogs, scheduled tasks and DCUI use

Host Profiles, Security, Networking

/var/log/usb.log

USB device arbitration events, such as discovery and pass-through to virtual machines

USB, Security

/var/log/vobd.log

VMkernel Observation events

Performance, Firewall, Security, Storage, Network

/var/log/vmkernel.log

Core VMkernel logs, including device discovery, storage and networking device and driver events, and virtual machine startup

Security, Storage, Network, Performance

/var/log/vmkwarning.log

A summary of Warning and Alert log messages excerpted from the VMkernel logs

Security, Network, Performance, Storage

/var/log/vmksummary.log

A summary of ESXi host startup and shutdown, and an hourly heartbeat with uptime, number of virtual machines running, and service resource consumption

Network, Performance

/var/log/vpxa.log

vCenter Server vpxa agent logs, including communication with vCenter Server and the Host Management hostd agent.

Virtual Center Agent, Comm path errors to hostd

/var/log/fdm.log

vSphere High Availability logs.

HA Events

vmware.log

Located in the same directory as a vmx file for a VM. 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.

VM