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vm-support might fail on ESXi systems with many virtual machines if run on the root partition

Details

When using the vm-support data-collection utility on an ESXi host, either via the command-line or the vSphere client, it stores data in a temporary location under /var/tmp/. This is a symbolic link to /scratch/var/tmp/, which may have limited space available if the scratch location is on a ramdisk.

If many virtual machines are running on the ESXi system, vm-support needs more space than the directory can provide. As a result, vm-support fails, with an out of disk space message.

Solution

To resolve this issue, provide the vm-support command-line utility enough space to store temporary files during execution.

Option 1: Configure persistent scratch location

Provision a persistent scratch location on a Fat16 or VMFS partition accessible by the ESXi host. This scratch location will be used by the vm-support data-collection utility. For more information, see Creating a persistent scratch location for ESXi (1033696).

Option 2: Set a working directory for vm-support

Execute the vm-support data-collection utility from the command-line of the ESXi host, specifying a temporary working directory.

  1. Open a console to the ESXi host. For more information, see Using Tech Support Mode in ESXi 4.1 (1017910).
  2. Identify a VMFS datastore with free space available. For more information, see Investigating disk space on an ESX or ESXi host (1003564).
  3. Invoke the vm-support data-collection utility from the command-line, specifying a working directory for temporarily writing files:

    vm-support -w

    For example:

    vm-support -w /vmfs/volumes/datastorename/
Based on VMware KB 1010611

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