This post is inspired by a tweet from Andrew Storrs, where he pinpoints that the host log file locations have changed between ESXi 4 and ESXi 5.
Note: This post has been updated with new log files for ESXi 5.1
ESXi 4 Log File Locations: #
[table id=6 /]
ESXi 5 Log File Locations: #
[table id=5 /]
Between version 5.0 and 5.1 the log file locations have not changed, but a couple of new logs have been added.
ESXi 5.1 New Log File Locations: #
[table id=10 /]
Clearly the number of host log file has increased in newer versions, and that should make it much easier to find the log entries you are looking for. A more granular logging into different specialized log files can only be a good thing.
Logs from vCenter Server Components on ESXi 5.1: #
[table id=11 /]
Just remember that ESXi only logs to memory, and that you need to set logging to a syslog server to preserve logs between reboots. If ESXi 5 is installed on local disk, the log files will be persistent through reboots, since it creates a zipped archive in /var/run/log. If ESXi is deployed via Auto Deploy, no local disk is used and the log files are not persistent, and needs to be collected by an external syslog service.
For more details about various VMware products and their log file locations, check VMware Knowledgebase article 1021806 and VMware Knowledgebase article 2032076
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