My Favorite VMware vSphere Host Client Feature in ESXi 6.5 – Browsing Host Logs

melissa • June 16, 2017 • No Comments

I’ll have to admit.  When it was announced the VMware vSphere 6.5 C# client was about to ride into the sunset, I was a bit upset.  Sure, I had been using the vSphere Web Client for some time for vCenter, but I was used to logging into ESXi hosts directly with the C# client, and could pretty much get to anything I needed to in my sleep.

When I installed vSphere 6.5 for the first time, and logged into the vSphere Host Client for the first time, I was not disappointed.  As much as I loved the Web Client from day one (maybe), it did take some getting used to.  The HTML-5 based vSphere Host Client is intuitive from the first login.  To access navigate to https://yourhostname and you’re there!

My favorite vSphere Host Client feature is the host log browser, hands down.  Simply click Manage once you’ve logged int the vSphere Host Client, then select Logs.

vmware sphere host client log browser html5 esxi

The great part is you can search for a log file, and within them.  In the above example, I searched for vmkernel, since I wanted to quickly access the VMkernel log.  You can also search for something within the log file.  Many times if you know what you are you looking for, you may just want to quickly scroll through the last part of the log file.

Now, let’s make sure this thing works for fun, of course.  There are many ways to make sure an entry is written to the vmkernel log, but I went with my personal favorite which is disabling a vmnic.  If you want to use this handy trick, you can use the command esxcli network nic down -n vmnic0, where vmnic0 is the nic you like the least and are trying to disable.

VMware vsphere host client html5 esxcli disable vmnic

As soon as I entered the command, I saw the corresponding vmkernel log entry.

VMware vSphere host client html5 vmkernel link down

There you have it.  I saw it in the vmkernel log right after I hit enter.

Wondering what this whole vmkernel log thing is?  I did too at one point, stay tuned for an explanation of VMware vSphere log files coming soon.

I have found the vSphere Host Client’s log browser functionality to be invaluable when I’m trying to do some quick and dirty troubleshooting.  Now, it is the first place I head when I want to see what is broken on an ESXi 6.5 host.  Next time you are troubleshooting an issue give it a try!

Special thanks to VMware Hands On-Labs.  This is a great feature I’ve been meaning to write up for a while now, and I do not have any vSphere 6.5 hosts handy at the moment.

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