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ESXi syslog – A general system error occurred: Internal error

A long time ago, I talked about an internal error messages I received on ESXi. The workaround was to reboot the ESXi host, which is not the best outcome in my opinion. Recently, I hit this issue again, but this time specific to trying to configure remote syslog. I saw this issue will configuring vSphere integration on Log Insight and would like walk through the steps I took to address the issue.

I started by entering the information for a vCenter Server instance into the vSphere integration section of my Log Insight instance. I selected the checkbox to configure the ESXi hosts and select save. When the operation finished, I was presented with the following error message:
Now, you may think this issue is Log Insight related. As such, you may go check the vSphere integration log on the virtual appliance and see a message like the following:

While this may look like a Log Insight issue, the problem is actually with ESXi. If you go to ESXi, you can run an esxcli command to check the current configuration of remote syslog:

Hmm, but it just looks like Log Insight failed to configure the ESXi host. Well, looks can be deceiving. Have a look at the hidden syslog log file on the ESXi host for more information:

OK, so appears either the FQDN is incorrect, DNS is misconfigured on the ESXi host, or DNS is misconfigured in the environment. Why didn’t Log Insight just say that?! Log Insight can only return to you what it receives from the vSphere API. In this case, an internal error is thrown. In short, you are looking at a limitation of ESXi. For more troubleshooting of syslog on ESXi, see this post.

© 2014, Steve Flanders. All rights reserved.

Published inVMware


  1. Tristan Tristan

    Thanks much Steve – you helped me fix LogInsight in my home lab today!

  2. That’s hilarious. Could’ve saved so much time if LI just reported it as a DNS error D:
    Thanks for this blog!

    • Hey Dave — Thanks for the comment. Unfortunately, the problem may not always be DNS so LI cannot make that assumption. What would be great is if ESXi reported this error properly via its API — then LI could display what ESXi presented.

  3. Explorer Explorer

    Thanks a lot! this really helped me sort out the issue.

  4. jonkensy jonkensy

    Just wanted to throw this out there – I had similar output: 2017-08-14T17:44:44.004Z vmsyslog.config : ERROR ] Config error: Fail ed to resolve remote host: conwaylogs1.conway.local. Thing is, that DNS is no longer available – the zone doesn’t even exist. Turns out syslog was configured in the host from a previously LI deploy and the new LI instance will not overwrite what’s there. If you clear that field out through vCenter then all is well.

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