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I recently encountered an error on one of my ESXi 4.1 lab hosts trying to make a configuration change to the host. The error image is shown below and the text of the error stack pointed to full root file system -

Call "HostNetworkSystem.UpdateNetworkConfig" for object "networkSystem" on ESXi "esx01" failed.
   Operation failed, diagnostics report: Error interacting with configuration file /etc/vmware/esx.conf: 
   Write failed during Unlock.  This is likely due to a full or read-only filesystem.  
   Original Error was: Error interacting with configuration file /etc/vmware/esx.conf: 
   Unable to write to file /etc/vmware/esx.conf.vVPNWW while saving /etc/vmware/esx.conf operation aborted.  
   It is likely this was caused by a Full Disk.
 

I used the command vdf -h to confirm the error message and as shown in the below output.

~ # vdf -h
   Tardisk                  Space      Used
   SYS1                      201M      201M
   SYS2                       55M       55M
   SYS3                        1M        1M
   SYS4                       12K       12K
   SYS5                       12K       12K
   -----
   Ramdisk                   Size      Used Available Use% Mounted on
   MAINSYS                    32M       32M        0B 100% --
   tmp                       192M      112K      191M   0% --
   updatestg                 750M       64K      749M   0% --
   hostdstats                 78M        3M       74M   4% --
 

I used the find command to determine that the problem files were sel and sel.raw in the folder /var/log/ipmi/0. I deleted the files, but after a few minutes the files filled the MAINSYS ramdisk again. I found that the file sel was completely made up of the repeating entry System Boot: and sel.raw was made up of ef ef ...

These files are generated from System Event Log IPMI data from the host so I accessed the host's management interface. Oddly I found that the SEL was empty. However on a whim a clicked the Clear Event Log link, deleted the sel and sel.raw files and the files did not reappear. As part of the troubleshooting for this I did reset the host's ESXi configuration and reinstalled ESXi as well but these actions did not help.

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Copyright © 2011 - Dave Mishchenko