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 Client, ESXCLI, or the vSphere Web Services SDK.

Caution: Do not change, move, or delete virtual machine files without instructions from a VMware Technical Support representative.
Table 1. Virtual Machine Files
File Usage Description
.vmx vmname.vmx Virtual machine configuration file
.vmxf vmname.vmxf Additional virtual machine configuration files
.vmdk vmname.vmdk Virtual disk characteristics
-flat.vmdk vmname-flat.vmdk Virtual machine data disk
.nvram vmname.nvram or nvram Virtual machine BIOS or EFI configuration
.vmsd vmname.vmsd Virtual machine snapshots
.vmsn vmname.vmsn Virtual machine snapshot data file
.vswp vmname.vswp Virtual machine swap file
.vmss vmname.vmss Virtual machine suspend file
.log vmware.log Current virtual machine log file
-#.log 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).