How to import vmware vm into virtualbox

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How to import vmware vm into virtualbox

Postby -JK- » 3. Dec 2017, 12:11

Host os is Ubuntu 16.04, vmware is workstation pro 12.5.7, virtualbox is v 5.2.2

I have vmware vms running also Ubuntu 16.04. virtual disk format is vmdk splitted into 4GB pieces.

I have found out following ways to "import" vmware vm into virtualbox:

1) Create new vm and use existing vmware vmdk files without any conversion.
- pros: fast, no need to do any conversions
- cons: need to setup new vm attributes from scratch (not a big task)

2) Run vmware ovf export to create single vmdk file. Run virtualbox import appliance to take it in.
- cons: single vmdk file
- cons: vmware export and virtualbox import take some time
- pros: most of the attributes are correct but e.g. sound card may be missing and USB can be v1.1 instead of 3. etc. (fixing is not a big task)


a) I have tried both options and managed to get them working but are there any other pros/cons between them?

b) I prefer having vm disk in e.g. 4GB pieces for maintenance reasons, e.g. atleast in vmware not every piece is changed during vm session so backup is faster if only part of the total "vm disk" is changed. This is a big save if a typical vmdisk size is about 100GB. Is it possible to split single file created during 2) into pieces with virtualbox tools?

c) Are there any benefits (performance etc) for having a one large vm disk file instead of having vm disk splitted into pieces when using virtualbox?
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Re: How to import vmware vm into virtualbox

Postby mpack » 3. Dec 2017, 12:21

There is no benefit I can think of to creating a VM manually vs exporting from VMWare and Importing into VirtualBox. On the contrary, inexperienced usings should find the latter much easier. Just don't extend this endorsement to moving VMs between VirtualBox stations.

My personal taste is to have a single VDI file, not VMDK, since the latter is not the native VirtualBox format. That makes the VMDK variant discussion moot.

VDI is the only format which is supported for all functions, and if it breaks then we have expertise on fixing it. If you use a foreign format for no good reason then you're pretty much on your own.

Note that if you should ever need the VM in VMDK format again then you need only export it.
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