Trouble shooting – esx.problem.visorfs.ramdisk.full

Written by Simon Eady
Published on 4/2/2014 - Read in about 2 min (390 words)


Fairly recently I came across this error message on one of my hosts “esx.problem.visorfs.ramdisk.full”


While trying to address the issue I had the following problems when the ramdisk did indeed “fill up”

  • PSOD (worst case happened only once in my experience)
  • VM’s struggling to vMotion from the affected host when putting into maintenance mode.

Temporary workaround

A reboot of the host would clear the problem (clear out the ramdisk) for a short while but the problem will return if not addressed properly.


  • Clustered ESXi hosts (version 5.1)
  • vCenter 5.1

Steps taken

First of all I had to see just how bad things were so I connected to the affected host via SSH ( you may need to start the SSH service on the host as by default it is usually stopped)

Using the following command I could determine what used state the ramdisk was in.

vdf -h





(using an example output)

It was clear the root was full so now to find out what was filling it up so I searched KB articles for answers below were more the more helpful ones.

Unlike many of the other articles I had read which all seemed to point to /var/log being the cause the culprit in this instance was the /scratch disk

After doing some quick reading it was clear I could set a separate persistent location for the /scratch disk. So I followed the VMware KB article on this process and rebooted the host to apply the changes.

The gotcha

Even though I had followed the article to the letter and rebooted the host the changes did not apply on this host as when I double checked the ramdisk and this was the output as you can see the used space was already growing and when I put the console window side by side with the other hosts it was growing rapidly whereas the other hosts were quite static in used space.






It was not until I rebooted the host again did the changes I made apply, I will point out that this was the only time this little issue occurred the other hosts only required one reboot after changing the /scratch location.


After the second reboot I could see the host was as it should be

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