Recently we’ve been discovering some bugs in one of our environments. One of which I will discuss in this blogpost. This might seem like a small issue but if you use VMware GSS often it can be troublesome if you want to quickly create a support bundle of your environment. 

The issue is that with at least vCenter version 6.5 build 7515524 and at least ESXi build 6921384 we are facing the problem that we could not create or download any support bundles to browse through or to give to VMware GSS. 

The issue manifests itself by not beeing able to select any specific log files into the support bundle because the selection screen is blank, and by failing after a couple of minutes, or in our case an hour. In the screenshot below this is clearly demonstrated:

vCenter ‘Export System Logs’ issue

It seems that this is a known bug that should be fixed in ESXi 6.5 Update 1 according to this KB.

Fortunately there are other ways to collect support bundles, the most common ones are described below:

ESXi Host Client and vCSA VAMI

For an ESXi  host you can simply login to the new Host Client interface and go to Monitor -> Logs and click “Generate support bundle”. This will create a support bundle and once it is done collecting the log files it will provide you with a download prompt. 

ESXi Host Client

Or if you do not want to log in to the Host Client, just visit the following URL, which will initiate the ‘vm-support’ script and create a support bundle (only until ESXi 6.0), this can also be done with a curl or wget command:

For the vCenter it is also quite easy, just login to the vCSA VAMI interface on the following URL:

Once your are logged in just click on the “Create Support Bundle” button which is on the homepage. Again, once the vCSA appliance is done collecting the log files it will provide you with a download prompt.

And once again there is another option to download the support bundle through the web browser on the following URL:

This will instantly initiate the download of the support bundle and save it to your desired location.

Command line options

Besides the option to generate a support bundle through the GUI, there are also options to generate it through command line commands. Creating a support bundle for your ESXi host is quite easy. Just log in to the ESXi host and execute the following command: 

This will create a compressed support bundle and store it in the directory that is displayed at the end once the bundle is generated. This would almost always be in either the current working directory, “/var/log” or “/var/tmp”/. There is an option to store the support bundle directly on a datastore with the following command:

Once the bundle is generated simply use WinSCP to download it to a local directory and use it for troubleshooting.

To generate a support bundle for your vCSA, just log in to it and execute the following command:

Running  this command will create a support bundle and save it to the “/storage/log” directory. Once again WinSCP can be used to download it to a local directory.

Bonus for the ESXi host log files

And a last one which was something I did not know yet, but has apparently already been there since version 5.0. You can just browse to your ESXi server and access log files via the web browser. Just enter the following URL in the web browser and download your desired log file. 

You can see this in the screenshot below:

ESXi log files through the web browser

So all in all there are more ways to export a support bundle or log files from vCenter or ESXi hosts than the general one that is possible from whithin the vSphere vCenter Web Client. And obviously I didn’t describe all of them, that would make this a very long blog. But these are the ones that I use all the time. If you want to know what other possibilities there are to download support bundles, check out the following VMware KB’s:

Exporting VMware vCenter Server diagnostic information 
Exporting VMware ESXi diagnostic information

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