ESX Swap File Size Best Practice

Vmware Swap FileESXi Swap File & VMFS Partitions (Revised on 5-18-12)

Due to the changes with ESXi 5.0, please see the following links at VMware for current specifications on partitioning new installations of ESXi 5.0, or when upgrading to ESXi 5.0 from another version of ESXi.

Another useful VMinstall post on the SWAP file topic can be found at: VMware SWAP File Best Practice

Related ESXi Partition Sizing Post:

I also found a great post on VirtuallyGhetto where¬†William¬†breaks down how to manually create VMFS 5 partition in ESXi 5. His post has step by step instructions and great screen shots. Read more…



Revised on 1-3-09:

The original post was only for ESX 3.0.x. VMware has redesigned the volume structure for ESX 3.5.x to include the larger volumes. The large SWAP volume is only standard on clean installs of 3.5.x, upgrades of  previous versions will have the smaller volumes. Best practice for upgrading ESX is to do a clean install to remove old version limitations.

Then when running the installation make the following changes and additons to the default volumes:

  • /boot¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†| ¬†ext3¬†¬†| ¬†250 MB
  • /swap¬†¬†¬†¬† | swap¬† |¬†2000 MB (largest accessible size) Once this is changed you must increase service console memory in VirtualCenter 2:1 (swap:ram)
  • /¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† | ext3¬†¬†| 5120 MB
  • /var¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† | ext3¬†¬†| 1024 MB (core files)
  • /var/log | ext¬†3¬† | 1024 MB¬† (logfiles)
  • /tmp¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† |¬†ext3¬†¬†¬†| 1024 MB (where updates get downloaded to)
  • /opt¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† | ext3¬†¬†| 2048 MB¬† (where HA log go)
  • / home¬†¬†| ext3¬†|¬† 1024 MB¬† (user files)


ESX Custom Partition Sizes (original post)

Do a custom installation of ESX and make your swap partition 1024 MB instead of the default 542 MB. Later you will need the room when you have to increase your service console memory from 272 MB to 512 (800 MB Max) to keep your systems from crashing when you access them from within a service console window.

Cool Bonus Video by Eric Sloof: Configure ESXi Host Swapping to a Solid-State Disk


Please share your expertise on this topic with us…



  1. dypeTypedroge
  2. Roffarrolve
  3. Eugene

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