Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Convert VMDK (VmWare) virtual disks to VDI (VirtualBox)

With the new version of VirtualBox (3.0) it is time to see the performance of VirtualBox again. Instead of reinstalling my virtual machines, I am going to simply convert the existing VMWare boxes.
The command to convert a VMWare disk to native Virtualbox ones I used was
VBoxManage clonehd Root_Disk.vmdk Root_Disk.vdi --format VDI
I used the VMDK support in VirtualBox, utilizing the .vmdk disk, but everything went terribly wrong. The disk operations were completely flawed. Installations of software in the virtual machine, which was on an USB drive, were faulty, random errors were popping up, etc, etc. I lost a week just trying to figure out what was wrong with the virtual machine. Let's hope conversion to VDI would make the converted virtual machines stable.
Also, what I hope to see with the v3.0 of VirtualBox is improved performance when virtual machines are run from an external USB drive...

EDIT: According to comments, a "--format VDI" is required to determine the type of the destination disk image. For a more detailed overview and options see the documentation page on VBoxManage and clonehd command


Flaker said...

watch out. That line alone will create other vmdk with vdi extension. You have to specify --format VDI

Anonymous said...

That is not true, the default clone settings are for VDI.

Anonymous said...

sorry you are correct, only default when creating a new hd.

Anonymous said...

I just did this with vbox 3.2.4, and you must specify --format VDI, otherwise all that happens is the creation of a new file with a vdi extension that is still in vmdk format.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.