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Creating snapshots in a different location than default virtual machine directory

In ESX/ESXi 3.x and 4.x, all files comprising snapshots are created in the virtual machine’s working directory. By default, the working directory is the same directory as the virtual machine’s (.vmx) configuration file. Thus, if the virtual disk (.vmdk) file is located on different datastore than the virtual machine itself, virtual disk redolog (-delta.vmdk) files are created alongside the virtual machine’s (.vmx) configuration file instead of beside the virtual disk (.vmdk) file.
You may want to change the location (new directory on the same or alternative datastore) where virtual disk redolog (-delta.vmdk) files are created, in order to:

  • Create snapshots but do not have enough space on the VMFS volume.
  • Power on a virtual machine when there is not enough space to create a swap file on the VMFS volume.

You can use the following to change the default virtual machine working directory location used for snapshots on ESX/ESXi 3.x and 4.x.

  1. Power off the virtual machine.
  2. Open the virtual machine’s .vmx configuration file in a text editor.
  3. Add a line to the .vmx configuration file for the virtual machine, specifying a full path to the directory on a datastore for the workingDir option:
    workingDir = "new_path_location"
    workingDir = "/vmfs/volumes/46f1225f-552b0069-e03b-00145e808070/vm-snapshots"This ensures that subsequently created snapshots will cause new virtual disk redolog (-delta.vmdk) files to be created in the defined directory.
  4. Note: This step is optional. Adding the new file location ensures the swap file is created in the working directory. When a virtual machine is powered on for the first time, a new swap file is created in the working directory of the virtual machine. By default, the virtual machine writes the swap file in the same directory as the.vmx configuration file. If you would like to change this location, add the new location to this line in the.vmx file:
    sched.swap.dir = "path_to_vm_directory"
  5. Save the changes and close the virtual machine’s .vmx configuration file.
  6. Reload the virtual machine configuration by unregistering and re-registering it in the inventory.
  7. Power on the virtual machine.



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