Solve the “System logs on ESXi Host are stored on non-persistent storage” message

Recently I had to install a few VMware ESXi 5.5 host on removable SD cards. After the installation finishes and you connect the first time with the vSphere Client, a message is displayed.


This means that the log files are written on the SD card. After a reboot the log files disappear. This could be a problem when trying to trouble shoot a problem and the ESXi host has rebooted.

So how to solve this configuration issue. See VMware KB2032823 for instructions. This is very easy and highly advisable.

Verify the Location of System Logs in the vSphere Client

  1. In the vSphere Client, select the host in the inventory panel.
  2. Click the Configuration tab and click Advanced Settings under Software.
  3. Make sure that Syslog.global.logDir points to a persistent location.
    The directory should be specified as [datastorename] path_to_file where the path is relative to the datastore. For example, [datastore1] /systemlogs.
  4. If the Syslog.global.logDir field is empty or explicitly points to a scratch partition, make sure that the field ScratchConfig.CurrentScratchLocation shows a location on persistent storage.

Verify the Location of System Logs in the vSphere Web Client

  1. Browse to the host in the vSphere Web Client navigator.
  2. On the Manage tab click Settings.
  3. Under System, click Advanced System Settings.
  4. Make sure that Syslog.global.logDir points to a persistent location.
  5. If the field Syslog.global.logDir is empty or points to a scratch partition, make sure that the field ScratchConfig.CurrentScratchLocation shows a location on persistent storage.

    Note: You must reboot the host for the changes to take effect.

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Disclaimer.
The information in this article is provided “AS IS” with no warranties, and confers no rights. This article does not represent the thoughts, intentions, plans or strategies of my employer. It is solely my opinion.

Marco

Marco works for ViaData as a Senior Technical Consultant. He has over 15 years experience as a system engineer and consultant, specialized in virtualization. VMware VCP4, VCP5-DC & VCP5-DT. VMware vExpert 2013, 2014,2015 & 2016. Microsoft MCSE & MCITP Enterprise Administrator. Veeam VMSP, VMTSP & VMCE.

5 Comments

  1. Hi Marco,

    Did you installed ESXi 5.5 on a 4GB SD card? If that’s the case your log files are stored in the default scratch location (RAM) and not retained after rebooting your host. A 4GB scratch partition is created automatically during the install of ESXi if their is sufficient space on the target device. I’ve tested this before and noticed that you don’t get the message when using a 8GB SD card because the default scratch location is on a FAT partition on the SD card then.

    Regards, Marvin

  2. Hi Marvin,

    Yes, I’ve installed ESXi 5.5 with a 4GB SD card. It’s good to know that the issue is not appearing with an 8GB card. I didn’t know this. Thanks for sharing.

  3. Chris

    We have ESXi 5.5 installed on 16GB SD Cards and we are seeing this error. Doesn’t the SD Card count as non-persistent? how can I point the logs to the SD Card and not see this error?

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