How to get VMware logs the “smart way”

GUI is a great tool but sometimes it simply does not work. The usual way to get logs is:

  1. Login to vCenter.
  2. Under Inventory Lists, select vCenter Servers.
  3. Click the vCenter Server that contains the ESX/ESXi hosts from which you want to export logs.
  4. Click the Monitor tab and click System Logs.
  5. Click Export System Logs.
  6. Select the ESX/ESXi hosts from which you want to export logs.
  7. Select the Include vCenter Server and vSphere Web Client logs option. This step is optional.
  8. Click Next.
  9. Select the system logs that are to be exported.
  10. Select Gather performance data to include performance data information in the log files.

    Note: You can update the duration and interval time between which you want to collect the data.
  11. Click Next.
  12. Click Generate Log Bundle. The Download Log Bundles dialog appears when the Generating Diagnostic Bundle task completes.
  13. Click Download Log Bundle to save it to your local computer.

    Note: The host or vCenter Server generates .zip bundles containing the log files. The Recent Tasks panel shows the Generate diagnostic bundles task in progress.
  14. After the download completes, click Finish or generate another log bundle.

But what if logs generation is taking too long or simply do not work?

Here are steps to get logs the “smart way”:

  1. Open a console session to the vCenter Server Appliance.
  2. Log in as an administrative user, such as root.
  3. Type shell and press Enter.
  4. Run this command to export the logs to /storage/log/:

    vc-support -l
  1. Open a web browser and navigate to https://vCenter_server_FQDN:443/appliance/support-bundle
  2. When prompted enter the root credentials and click Enter.

NOTE: The download will begin automatically as vm-support.tgz.

Here is a video for step-by-step guide:

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