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
- Enable SSH on the VCSA – Login to the VCSA VAMI (https://<VCSA-FQDN>:5480). Click on the “Access” section and enable SSH.
- 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.
- 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
- 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:
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”.
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.
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!