How to Clean Up vCenter Logs in vCenter Server Appliance

Managing vCenter log files efficiently is crucial to maintain system performance and troubleshoot issues effectively.


By Zelia / Updated on December 13, 2023

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Importance of log files in vCenter environments

Log files serve as digital footprints, documenting every action and event within a vCenter environment. They provide invaluable insights into system performance, user activities, and potential issues. Log files enable IT professionals to identify anomalies, track changes, and diagnose problems promptly, contributing to proactive maintenance and streamlined operations.


Types of log files in vCenter

Within the intricate framework of vCenter environments, a diverse range of log files assumes the role of silent sentinels, capturing the essence of every system operation and event. These log files, each with its own distinct purpose and significance:

  • System Logs: By offering a panoramic view of system-wide events, these logs empower you to track system stability, diagnose system-related issues, and gauge the overall health of the virtualized infrastructure.
  • Event Logs: Event logs furnish you with a chronological record of activities, allowing you to trace the sequence of events, detect unauthorized actions, and validate compliance with organizational policies.
  • Diagnostic Logs: These logs delve into the nitty-gritty technical details, documenting error messages, stack traces, and debugging information.
  • Performance Logs: By capturing data on CPU usage, memory consumption, disk I/O, and network traffic, performance logs empower you to optimize system responsiveness, predict capacity requirements, and identify potential performance bottlenecks.
  • Security Logs: These logs record security-related events, including login attempts, privilege changes, and access control alterations.

How to clean up vCenter logs

While log files are essential for maintaining a healthy virtual environment, they can accumulate over time and consume valuable storage space. To optimize system performance and manage log file growth, periodic vCenter clear logs is necessary. vCenter server appliance clear logs involves removing outdated and unnecessary entries while retaining critical information for analysis.

1. Log into vCenter server appliance: Begin by logging into the vCenter server appliance using the console. Access the console through host login on vSphere and selecting the server appliance. After choosing "Login," provide the username and password for the vCenter server appliance.


2. Check disk space: Once logged in, you will be presented with a command prompt. Execute the command "df -h" to assess the utilization of disk space. If the usage is near 100% or at full capacity, proceed to the next step.


3. Find large files: Employ the following command to organize files by size within your system. This will generate a list of files, showcasing substantial ones. Among these, you should identify a particularly large file.

du -a /var | sort -n -r | head -n 10


Note: In case executing this command fails due to insufficient disk space, execute the "dir" command first and eliminate the oversized "warn" file beforehand.

4. Change directory: Change the active directory to "/var/log" to access the directory containing the log file that needs to be removed.

cd /var/log


5. Delete the large file: Delete the identified large file from the system within this directory.

6. Reboot: Conclude the process by initiating a reboot of the vCenter Server Appliance.

Note: This action will not impact any attached hosts, as they will remain unaffected by the reboot.

Reliable vCenter VMs backup before vCenter clear logs

Before embarking on vCenter clear logs, it's paramount to secure your virtual machines through comprehensive backups. AOMEI Cyber Backup, a trusted VMware backup software, provides a reliable solution by safeguarding your VMs against potential data loss. With features like scheduled backups, incremental backups, and quick recovery options, AOMEI Cyber Backup ensures data integrity even amidst log file maintenance and also offers the following benefits:

◈ Agentless Image Backup: Create independent and image-based backup for VMware ESXi and Hyper-V VMs without installing agent on each VM.
◈ Support Free ESXi: Support both paid and free versions of VMware ESXi.
◈ Various Backup Methods: Besides full backup, you can perform incremental or differential VM backup to capture only changed data and save storage space.
◈ Automated Hot Backup: Auto backup running VMs ensuring business continuity.
◈ Restore from Any Point: Easily restore a whole VM to usable state from any history backup version.

AOMEI Cyber Backup supports VMware ESXi 6.0 and later versions. Next, I will demonstrate how to quickly backup and restore VMware virtual machines. You can click the button below to try AOMEI Cyber Backup for a 30-day 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.

Step 1. Bind Devices: Access to AOMEI Cyber Backup web client, navigate to Source Device >> VMware >> + Add VMware Device to Add vCenter or Standalone ESXi host. And then click >> Bind Device.


Step 2. Create Backup Task: Navigate to Backup Task >> + Create New Task, and select VMware ESXi Backup as the Backup Type. Then set Task Name, Device, Target, Schedule, Cleanup and Email notification as needed.

Task Name: Change the task name or use the default name with an ordinal.

Device: Batch select large numbers of VMs managed by vCenter Server for centralized backup.

Target: Select to back up to a local path, or to a network path.

Schedule (optional): Perform full, differential, or incremental backup, and automate execution according to the frequency you specified.


Cleanup (optional): Automatically delete the old backup copies that exceed the retention period you specified.


Email notification(optional): Monitor the backup process in a timely manner and send you alerts immediately to enhance the protection of data security.


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


Step 4. When restoring, you can also Restore to new location to create a new VM in the same or another datastore/host directly from the backup, saving the trouble of re-configuring the new VM.



Log files are essential in vCenter environments, providing insights for efficient management, troubleshooting, and performance optimization. vCenter clear log files is necessary to maintain system efficiency, but it should be approached with caution and with proper log backups in place.

By achieving a harmonious balance between log file cleaning and data protection, you pave the way for a robust and smoothly functioning virtualized ecosystem.

Zelia · Editor
Zelia is an editor from AOMEI Technology.She mainly writes articles about virtual machine. Writing is one of her hobbies and she wants her articles to be seen by more people. In her spare time, she likes to draw and listen to music, and it is a pleasure for her to focus on her own world.