How to Enable the VCSA Log Browser

Categories Building Clouds (Technology)
Log Browser Compare

One of my fellow TAMs (https://twitter.com/coolestITguy) recently reminded me of the VCSA Log Browser which is essentially a way to browse, search, & filter ESXi and VCSA logs directly from the vSphere Web Client.  This plug-in has been around for a long time, but it is not enabled by default.  If you find yourself digging through logs frequently then you may want to consider leveraging this handy feature.  The steps below outline how to enable the Log Browser on the 6.5 vCenter Server Appliance (VCSA).

How to Enable the VCSA Log Browser Plug-In

  1. Enable SSH on the VCSA – Login to the VCSA VAMI (https://<VCSA-FQDN>:5480).  Click on the “Access” section and enable SSH.
    VCSA SSH
  2. Login to the VCSA Bash Shell – Open a Terminal or Putty SSH session to the VCSA and login as root.  Type “shell” to open the Bash Shell.
    VCSA Shell
  3. Rename the ‘plugin-package.xml.unused’ File – Change directories to “/usr/lib/vmware-vsphere-client/plugin-packages/logbrowser“.  Then rename the ‘plugin-package.xml.unused’ file to ‘plugin-package.xml’.
    # cd /usr/lib/vmware-vsphere-client/plugin-packages/logbrowser/
    # mv plugin-package.xml.unused plugin-package.xml
    rename plugin-package.xml
  4. Reboot the VCSA – According to the official documentation (here), you should only need to restart the “VMware Service Lifecycle Manager API” service; however, this did not work for me.  I ended up just rebooting the VCSA.  Run the following command to reboot the VCSA:
    # reboot

Validate the Log Browser is Working

After the VCSA reboots, login and browse to the “Hosts and Clusters” view.  Click on one of your hosts and navigate to the “Monitor” tab.  You should now see a new sub tab called “Log Browser”.
Log Browser

Click “Retrieve now” to retrieve the logs from the host… this may take a few minutes.  The host generates system log bundles and stores them in the current scratch location which can be validated by looking at the “Used Space (%)” within vROps.

Retrieving Logs

Logs Retrieved

Scratch Disk Space

Now that the Log Browser Plug-In has been enabled you can search, filter, export, & compare the log files.  Here is an older video that still does a pretty good job of reviewing the Log Browser functionality and here is a link to the official documentation if you want to read about it further.  Happy log browsing!

7 thoughts on “How to Enable the VCSA Log Browser

  1. Really cool feature to share, it’s like a miniature LogInsight in VC. I was able to get this enabled in my lab environment, I performed a stop and start on vsphere-client & vmware-vpxd (in that order). When you start them back up, do vmware-vpxd first.

    1. Official confirmation: the Log Browser was removed from the vSphere Web Client (Flex) in 6.5 U2. Log Insight is a much better option now anyways.

  2. cool bro, one thing i would to know after you have enabled log browser. all of log are store in vcenter ? do we need to increase size of file in vcenter ?

    1. Totally depends on the amount of logs you will be fetching. I would say at the very least you will want to monitor it. If you are serious about digging through logs and not just doing it once in a while, you should leverage Log Insight.

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