Virtual Machine Files Type

When you browse a VM folder on a datastore you find different types of files listed there . Each file has specific role in a VM functioning. We will learn here for which purpose which files are created. Typically you will find following types of files in a VM directory:

VMDK files – VMDK files names as (VMware Virtual Disk file) are the actual virtual hard drive for the virtual guest operation system. You can create dynamic or fixed virtual disks. With dynamic disks, the disks start small and grow as the disk inside the guest OS grows. With fixed disks, the virtual disk started out at the same (large) disk size decided initially while creating VM.

Log files – Log files are just that- a log of VM server activity for a single virtual server. Log files can be used only while doing any troubleshooting with a virtual machine. It can be more than 1 or 2 and modified each time while we Start, Suspend or reboot the Virtual Machine. 

VMX files – a VMX file is the primary configuration file for a virtual machine. When you create a new virtual machine and answer questions about the operating system, disk sizes, and networking, those answers are stored in this file. As you can see from the screenshot below, a VMX file is actually a simple text file that can be edited with Notepad.

VMEM – A VMEM file is a backup of the virtual machine’s paging file. It will only appear if the virtual machine is running, or if it has crashed.

VMSN files – these files are used for snapshots. A VMSN file is used to store the exact state of the virtual machine when the snapshot was taken. Using this snapshot, you can then restore your machine to the previous state as when the snapshot was taken.

VMSD files — A VMSD file stores information about snapshots metadata. You’ll notice that the names of these files match the names of the snapshots.

NVRAM files – These files are the BIOS for the virtual machine. The VM must know how many hard drives it has and other common BIOS settings. The NVRAM file is where that BIOS information is stored.

VMSS files – A VMSS file is VMware Suspended virtual machine state and it is created while you suspend any Virtual machine. It stores the information of the running application while suspending the machine.

VMXF Files – A VMXF file is VMware team member file which is created during creation of Virtual machine and its shows the information about the client MetaData Attributes & VMID.


About Manish Jha

Hi All I am Manish Kumar Jha aka Alex Hunt. I am currently working in Iono,Inc as Cloud Solutions Architect. I have around 8 Years of IT experience and have exposure on VMware vSphere, vCloud Director, RHEL and modern data center technologies like Cisco UCS and Cisco Nexus 1000v and NSX. If you find any post informational to you please press like and share it across social media and leave your comments if you want to discuss further on any post. Disclaimer: All the information on this website is published in good faith and for general information purpose only. I don’t make any warranties about the completeness, reliability and accuracy of this information. Any action you take upon the information you find on this blog is strictly at your own risk. The Views and opinions published on this blog are my own and not the opinions of my employer or any of the vendors of the product discussed.
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2 Responses to Virtual Machine Files Type

  1. Venkatesh Durai says:

    The topics which u have shared are very useful…. Thanks a lot… If possible, please share me any documents or links to learn VMware from the beginning…


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