I just thought I will have a quick write up on collecting vmkernel dump files in ESXi 5.X. Basics are as always running vm-support to grab the dump file!

I will copy the notes from the KB article which is self explanatory actually.

During startup of an ESXi 5.x host, the startup script /usr/lib/vmware/vmksummary/ checks the defined Dump Partition for new contents. If new content is found, an entry is written to the /var/log/vmksummary.log file citing “bootstop: Core dump found“.

You can collect logs from an ESXi host either by running vm-support at the command line or by using ExportDiagnostic Data from the vSphere Client. Both methods invoke the vm-support script, which checks the defined Dump Partition for new contents. If new content is found, it is temporarily placed in a vmkernel-zdump file in /var/core/ before being compressed in the vm-support output.

Since the vmkernel-zdump-* coredump file is copied from the Dump Partition while running vm-support, it is not necessary to run vm-support a second time to collect the logs. If vm-support is run multiple times, only the first attempt includes a vmkernel-zdump file.

Note: The directory /var/core/ is often located on a ramdisk, so the vmkernel-zdump files placed within may not persist across a reboot.


Hope this helps!

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