How to Collect and Export vCenter Logs | Exporting Logs

Regularly collecting and analyzing logs can help you proactively address issues, optimize performance, and ensure the stability of your virtual environment.


By Crystal / Updated on August 23, 2023

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Why Export vCenter Log Files

In the complex landscape of IT management, the ability to monitor and analyze system activities is nothing short of essential. That's where vCenter logs come into play – serving as a valuable repository of information that can unveil insights crucial to maintaining the integrity and efficiency of your IT environment. However, merely generating logs isn't enough; the real magic happens when you export and analyze these logs to gain a comprehensive understanding of your system's behavior.

Most of the VMware vCenter Server Appliance 6.5 logs file is located in the directory /var/log/vmware/. Below is the list of vCenter server appliance log file location and description of each log file.

vcenter logs

Benefits of vCenter Event Logs

Imagine your IT infrastructure as a symphony of interconnected devices, applications, and processes. Each interaction, event, and occurrence within this symphony is meticulously recorded in the form of logs. These logs act as breadcrumbs that can lead you to the root cause of a problem, unveil patterns, and even predict potential issues before they escalate. If necessary, you can choose to backup your vCenter logs.

💥 Swift Issue Resolution: Exported logs help quickly identify and fix problems by showing a clear timeline of events leading up to issues.
🚩 Enhanced Performance: Analyzing logs lets you optimize resource use and maintain peak system performance.
👀 Preventive Insights: Spot potential problems early by recognizing patterns in historical log data.
🐱‍💻 Documentation and Audits: Logs provide a record of changes and updates for audits and reviews.

why to export vcenter logs

How to Export vCenter Logs Step by Step

Collecting logs from ESXi hosts and vCenter Server is a crucial practice for troubleshooting and maintaining the health of your virtual infrastructure.

✐ Follow these steps to gather VM-support (ESXi logs) and VC-support (vCenter logs) using the vSphere Web Client:

1. Open the vSphere Web Client by entering the vCenter Server name or IP address in the Web browser address field.

2. Log in to the vCenter Server system and select Hosts and Clusters.

3. Select vCenter from the left pane and click the Monitor tab.

4. Click System Logs >> Export System Logs.

export system logs

5. Select the applicable ESXi hosts or all ESXi hosts, check Include vCenter Server and vSphere Web Client logs, and then click Next.

Tips: If vc-support is not required, uncheck Include vCenter Server and....

select logs

6. Click Finish on the Select logs screen.

Tips: Basically, you don't need to check "Gather performance data" and "Password for encrypted core dumps ".

7. Select any target location on your local computer to save the logs.

8. After the diagnostic bundle generation task is completed, the log bundle will be saved in the specified target location.

Update: How to Check VM Logs in vCenter

Checking VM logs in vCenter is essential for understanding the status and performance of your virtual machines.

✐ Follow these steps to access VM logs within the vCenter environment:

1. Enter your credentials to log in vCenter.

2. From the vCenter dashboard, navigate to the "Hosts and Clusters" view. Here, you'll see a list of your hosts and virtual machines. Locate and select the virtual machine for which you want to check the logs.

3. Open the "Monitor" tab, click on the "Console" tab to access the virtual machine's console.

4. Once the virtual machine console is open, you'll have access to its logs. Depending on the guest operating system of the virtual machine, you can usually find the logs in the "/var/log" directory for Linux-based systems or the "C:\Windows\Logs" directory for Windows-based systems.

check vcenter logs

5. To access the logs, use the command line or file explorer within the virtual machine's console to navigate to the appropriate log directory. Here, you'll find log files related to system events, applications, and services running within the virtual machine.

6. Open the relevant log files using a text editor or viewer within the virtual machine console. You can now view and analyze the logs to gain insights into the virtual machine's activities, errors, and performance metrics.

7. Examine the log entries for any errors, warnings, or patterns that might indicate issues. The logs can provide valuable information to troubleshoot problems, identify root causes, and optimize the virtual machine's performance.

8. After reviewing the logs, you can close the virtual machine console by navigating back to the vCenter interface and clicking on the appropriate tabs.

Important: Secure VMware Data Before Exporting

When exporting files and logs, prioritizing data security is imperative. It's highly recommended to create a VMware backup prior to reinitiating the export process. This proactive step ensures that your data remains safeguarded and minimizes the risk of potential loss.

AOMEI Cyber Backup, the cost-effective and centralized VM backup software, is a considerable choice. It offers the features such as:

Agentless Backup: Create complete and independent image-level backup for VMware ESXi VMs.
Support Free ESXi: Support both paid and free versions of VMware ESXi.
Multiple Storage Destinations: Back up to local folders, network shared folders and NAS shared folders (folders shared via the SMB protocol).
Automated Execution: Automate virtual machine protection and notified by email.
Restore from Any PointRestore entire VM from any backed up restore points.

AOMEI Cyber Backup supports VMware ESXi 6.0 and later versions. Here, I will demonstrate how to quickly schedule an automatic backup task of multiple ESXi VMs. You can click the following button to download the free trial:

Download Free TrialVMware ESXi & Hyper-V
Secure Download

✍ *You can choose to install this VM backup software on either Windows or Linux system.

How to Create Auto VM Backup with VMware Backup Software

1. Bind Devices: Launch AOMEI Cyber Backup web client, navigate to Source Device>VMware>+ Add VMware Device to add vCenter or Standalone ESXi hosts as the source device. And then click>Bind Device.

bind vcenter device

2. Create Backup Task: Navigate to Backup Task>+ Create New Task, and then set it up according to your needs.

create vmware backup

  • Device: cover multiple VMs on the host in one backup task.
  • Target: selecting to back up to a local path, or to a network path. Used paths will be saved in Favorite Storage for handy selection.
  • Schedule: choosing to perform full, differential or incremental backup, and automate execution daily, weekly or monthly according to the frequency you specified.
  • Cleanup: Configure a retention policy to auto delete old backup files and save storage space.

start vmware backup

3. Start Backup: Click Start Backup and select Add the schedule and start backup now or Add the schedule only.

✍ Created backup tasks will be listed and monitored separately for progress checking, editing and restoring.


The process of exporting vCenter logs is a vital aspect of maintaining a well-functioning and secure virtualized environment. By following best practices such as ensuring data security through proper backups, organizations can effectively harness the insights within these logs while safeguarding against potential data loss or vulnerabilities.

As technology continues to evolve, staying informed about the latest methods for exporting and managing vCenter logs will undoubtedly contribute to the overall stability and resilience of the IT infrastructure.

Crystal · Editor
Crystal is an editor from AOMEI Technology. She mainly writes articles about virtual machine. She is a positive young lady likes to share articles with peolpe. Off work she loves travelling and cooking which is wonderful for life.