A virtual machine is a software computer that, like a physical computer, runs an operating system and applications. The virtual machine consists of a set of specification and configuration files and is backed by the physical resources of a host. Every virtual machine has virtual devices that provide the same functionality as physical hardware are more portable, more secure, and easier to manage.

A virtual machine consists of several files that are stored on a storage device. The key files are the configuration file, virtual disk file, NVRAM setting file, and log file. You configure virtual machine settings through the vSphere Web Client, one of the vSphere command-line interfaces (PowerCLI, vCLI) or the vSphere Web Services SDK.


Do not change, move, or delete virtual machine files without instructions from a VMware Technical Support representative.

Table 1. Virtual Machine Files






Virtual machine configuration file



Additional virtual machine configuration files



Virtual disk characteristics



Virtual machine data disk


vmname.nvram or nvram

Virtual machine BIOS or EFI configuration



Virtual machine snapshot descriptions



Virtual machine snapshot data file



Virtual machine swap file



Virtual machine suspend file



Current virtual machine log file


vmware-#.log (where # is a number starting with 1)

Old virtual machine log files

Additional files are created when you perform certain tasks with the virtual machine.

  • A .hlog file is a log file that is used by vCenter Server to keep track of virtual machine files that must be removed after a certain operation completes.

  • A .vmtx file is created when you convert a virtual machine to a template. The .vmtx file replaces the virtual machine configuration file (.vmx file).