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VDI vs VHD vs VMDK

PostPosted: 8. Aug 2011, 19:44
by saxa
Hello,

please, could someone explain the advantages and disadvantages of the VDI, VHD and VMDK file formats in Virtualbox?

To clarify the question: I know, what VHD and VMDK are; I'm not new in the virtual world ;)

Re: VDI vs VHD vs VMDK

PostPosted: 8. Aug 2011, 21:26
by mpack
Try a search (use google, not internal search). The same question was asked quite recently.

Re: VDI vs VHD vs VMDK

PostPosted: 8. Aug 2011, 21:54
by saxa
Hello mpack,

thank you for the input.

I only found this one: http://grok.lsu.edu/article.aspx?articleid=14214, which doesn't say more than I know...
This one: http://www.sysprobs.com/convert-vdi-vmdk-open-sun-virtualbox-virtual-machine-vmware-player-workstation tells how to convert to each other - I know at least 3 methods more...

Let me ask my question in another way. I have to build a mission-critical VM running Windows XP SP3 i386 on VirtualBox on a Windows 7 SP1 x64 driven host. One virtual HDD sized at ~70 GB.

Which virtual hard disk format should I use?

I'm thinking on VHD because it can be handled (mounted, compressed,..) by the host OS without any other tools. It's open source and there are many tools to open it. According to my experience it's very stable format.
On the other hand, VDI is a native VirtualBox's file format; it can be compressed by VBoxManage, but it's a proprietary file format which can't be opened using third-party tools like 7zip or WinImage (I hope. I'm wrong). I don't have any experience if it's stable and on repairing the VDIs...
On the third hand, VMDK is open source, too. And I'm experienced with VMware products and repairing of VMDKs...

You see, I don't know what to do :)

Re: VDI vs VHD vs VMDK

PostPosted: 9. Aug 2011, 02:04
by BillG
If you are creating a new machine under VirtualBox, why would you not use .vdi? I cannot think of a single reason to even consider.

Re: VDI vs VHD vs VMDK

PostPosted: 9. Aug 2011, 08:30
by saxa
BillG wrote:If you are creating a new machine under VirtualBox, why would you not use .vdi? I cannot think of a single reason to even consider.


Hello BillG,

are there any 3rd-party tools which can handle (open, edit, mount,..) VDI images?

Re: VDI vs VHD vs VMDK

PostPosted: 9. Aug 2011, 09:19
by vbox4me2

Re: VDI vs VHD vs VMDK

PostPosted: 9. Aug 2011, 10:18
by mpack
saxa wrote:I only found this one: http://grok.lsu.edu/article.aspx?articleid=14214, which doesn't say more than I know...
This one: http://www.sysprobs.com/convert-vdi-vmdk-open-sun-virtualbox-virtual-machine-vmware-player-workstation tells how to convert to each other - I know at least 3 methods more...

I meant you should use google to search this site (forums.virtualbox.org), not other sites of unknown provenance. I can tell you that the first link contains no original material, it essentially quotes the relevant sections of the old VBox user manual (the same section in the actual VBox user manual has since been corrected due to some technically misleading statements).

The recent discussion I was referring to is here.

Re: VDI vs VHD vs VMDK

PostPosted: 9. Aug 2011, 10:23
by saxa


These tools handle VMDKs, not VDIs.

Re: VDI vs VHD vs VMDK

PostPosted: 9. Aug 2011, 10:35
by vbox4me2
Have you tried?

Re: VDI vs VHD vs VMDK

PostPosted: 12. Aug 2011, 09:01
by saxa
vbox4me2 wrote:Have you tried?


Yes, I've tried. I need a tool to mount the VDIs on Windows. Wouldn't say 'no' to such tool for Linux.