Configuring Remote Syslog in ESXi 4.1 via the Linux RCLI


First thing you need to know about ESXi is that it rolls its log after a reboot, meaning if your ESXi server crashes there will be no logs to review and no way of knowing what when to hell and where.

For this reason it is imperative that you setup a remote syslog server and send your logs there. Vmware support will tell you this and shame you if you have not setup remote syslogging.

Fortunately the first hit on google for “ESX syslog how to” will take you directly to the VMware KB article. You can find it here. However this page does not contain directions on how to do this via the Linux rcli, it only contains directions on how to do this via the VMA (management appliance) and from Windows PowerCLI. Really Vmware?

Follow the directions below if you run a real operating system and are not a Windows Admin.

First configure your remote ESXi host to forward syslog to your syslog server.

esxcfg-syslog –server esx04 –setserver vsyslog02 –setport 514

Then verify your settings

esxcfg-syslog –server esx04 –show

Output will appear as follows if everything worked right.

Current remote syslog server settings:
Server name : (vsyslog02)
Server port : 514


Patching ESXi 4.1 via the Linux RCLI


Great Balls of Frustration… could the documentation be anymore confusing and convoluted regarding the process of patching an ESX server via the Linux remote cli.

No, I am not running windows, and no I am not on the local ESX console, and no I am not running the Vmware Management Appliance, and most of all, no I do not want outdated instructions from 2008. I just want to download some patches to my local linux destop and patch my ESX servers. Specifically I want to install the latest and greatest Qlogic drivers to troubleshoot a SAN connectivity issue that I will probably blog about at a later date.

Anyway here is how I did what I needed to do without resorting to using a windows box.

First download the driver isos to your local Linux desktop and mount the isos up locally,

mount -o loop vmware-esx-drivers-scsi-fnic_400. /mnt

Second locate the offline-bundle directory. I moved mine off to another directory that I created specifically for the Qlogic Driver. This way I dont have to unmount and remount the iso when i patch my other boxes.

Next put the host in maint mode.

vicfg-hostops –username root –server esx04 -o enter

Then navigate to the offline_bundle directory and run the following command, replace the bundle name that I used with the bundle name in your directory

vihostupdate –server esx04 –install –bundle

Wait for the following message

Please wait patch installation is in progress …
The update completed successfully, but the system needs to be rebooted for the changes to be effective.

Then reboot

vicfg-hostops –username root –server esx04 -o reboot

Patching ESXi 4.1 to Update 1 via the VCLI in Linux

Brobee In early February VMware release the first update to ESXi 4.1. ESXi 4.1 Update 1 includes additonal drivers, and OS support for RHEL 6 (among others). Also there are a number of bug fixes delivered like random failures on bnx2x nic (yikes). See the entire list below.

Patching ESXi via the VCLI is pretty simple. Below are the steps that i tool to update.

  1. Download the Patch here
  2. Make sure that your host is in maintenance mode using the following command (vicfg-hostops –server esx30.atlnp1 -operation info)
  3. Install Patch (vihostupdate –server <hostname> –install –bundle
  4. Wait a bit
  5. Reboot

You can verify that the patch installed correctly with the command below

vihostupdate –server <hostname> –query

Look for the line below…

ESXi410-Update01            2011-03-23T18:09:05 VMware ESXi 4.1 Complete Update 1