The folks over at VMware Labs continue to pump out awesome new Flings and just yesterday, they released another one called VistualEsxtop, which is an enhanced version of esxtop and resxtop. It is no surprise, the Fling was developed by VMware Engineers working in the Performance group such as Priya Sethuraman, Zhelong Pan, Haiping Yang and Joanna Guan, some of which who helped develop the original esxtop utility.

VisualEsxtop can connect to directly to an ESX(i) host or a vCenter Server and provides support going all the way back to ESXi 3.5 or vCenter Server 4.0. Here is a summary of all the features for VisualEsxtop:


  1. Live connection to ESX host or vCenter Server
  2. Flexible way of batch output
  3. Load batch output and replay them
  4. Multiple windows to display different data at the same time
  5. Line chart for selected performance counters
  6. Flexible counter selection and filtering
  7. Embedded tooltip for counter description
  8. Color coding for important counters

While reading the instructions, I noticed VisualEsxtop is supported on both Windows and Linux and is loaded by a simple .bat or .sh script. So I wondered if it could run on Mac OS X? Well, it turns out the script uses a utility called readlink which does not operate the same on Mac OS X and will thrown an error. However, since VisualEsxtop is just a Java application, you can manually load the VisualEsxtop and the necessary library files.

To do so, you just need to change into the visaulEsxtop directory and run the following command:

java -cp lib/vtop-ui.jar com.vmware.vtop.VTopMain

Note: For ease of use, you can even create a shell script which executes the command so you do not have to type it out each time.

You should now see visualEsxtop launch after executing the above command:

One really cool feature of VisualEsxtop is the use of color coating for important counters and issues. In the screenshot below, you can see I have a VM that is dropping packets and it is automatically highlighted for me.

I would highly recommend you check out VisualEsxtop and add this to your toolbelt of tools for troubleshooting and diagnosing performance issues in a vSphere environment! If you have any feedback or questions for the engineers, please leave them in the comment section of the VisualEsxtop Fling.

7 thoughts on “How to Run VMware's New Fling VisualEsxtop on Mac OS X

  1. I added a

    export JAVA_OPTS=-Xmx2048m

    to the script per the README, to help prevent the

    “java.lang.OutOfMemoryError: Java heap space” I got without it

    Great tool – now we need trending/heatmap visualizations !

  2. FWIW:
    $ more /Users/brown/Downloads/visualEsxtop/visualEsxtop.bash
    #Set your own java options in environment variable JAVA_OPTS
    #For example, to give it a larger heap
    # export JAVA_OPTS=-Xmx1024m
    #SCRIPT=$(readlink -f $0)
    #echo $SCRIPT

    java $JAVA_OPTS -cp “$SCRIPTPATH/lib/vtop-ui.jar” com.vmware.vtop.VTopMain $@

  3. Guys, hope you can help. I’m attempting to load all batch file into visualesxtop. The file is around 700mb in size. When attempting to load the data into the program I am faced with the java.lang.OutOfMemoryError: Java heap space error.

    I have tried adding the line into the visualesxtop.bat file in the following format, however the memory error is still present:

    setlocal enableddelayedexpansion

    java %export JAVA_OPTS=-xmx2048% -cp “%~dp0\lib\vtop-ui.jar” com.vmware.vtop.vtopmain %*

    Have I used the correct format above? Any ideas where I am going wrong

  4. Cool tools – For some reason I’m not able to login to vCenter. I’m getting this error “Connection failed: Cannot fine ES….

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Thanks for the comment!