How to Convert a VirtualBox VM into a VMware VM

Transferring a virtual machine from Virtualbox to VMware has become a relatively trivial task thanks to Virtualbox. I have always used Virtualbox at home and VMware’s ESXI at work, however, lately I decided to give VMware a try at home after running into a problem booting from a USB drive; problem I was not able to resolve. I, however, had a number of Virtualbox virtual machines I was not willing to lose, so I decided to convert them. In this tutorial, I cover how to convert a Virtualbox virtual machine to a VMware virtual machine in a few easy steps.  We are assuming that you have Virtualbox running on Windows and you have a working virtual machine you want to convert and transfer.

In order to transfer our Virtualbox virtual machine to Vmware, we need to convert the Virtualbox hard disk into a VMware hard disk; after the conversion is done we will be attaching our converted virtual disk to a newly created VMware virtual machine. Before starting our project, make sure you do not have any snapshots on your virtual machine; if you do, delete them, otherwise you will run into problems.

Converting the Virtualbox Hard Disk into a VMware hard disk

Open the command prompt and enter the directory where Virtualbox is installed on your computer. Usually the path is C:\Program Files\Oracle\VirtualBox.

Execute the following command at the command prompt:

vboxmanage clonehd virtualboxdisk.vdi xpdisk.vmdk -format VMDK -variant standard -type normal -remember

Replace the part in red letters by your Virtualbox virtual machine’s file name. The part in green letters will be the name of the VMware hard disk to be created; you can give it any name you want. The Path where Virtualbox virtual machines are located is usually C:\Documents and Settings\<your username>\.VirtualBox\HardDisks (substitute “Documents and Settings” for “Users” in Windows Vista and 7). If your virtual machine’s name has a space anywhere on the name, you must enclose the whole path in quotations as shown in the picture below:

The command will take several minutes to convert the Virtualbox hard disk into a VMware hard disk.

When the command finishes, you will have your new VMware hard disk on the same location as your original Virtualbox hard disk. It is up to you if you want to relocate this new virtual machine to a different directory.

 

Attaching New VMware Hard Disk to New Virtual Machine

Now, we have to attach the new VMware hard disk containing our converted Windows VM to a newly created VMware virtual machine.

If you haven’t done so already, download and install VMware Player. Open VMware Player and click on “Create New Virtual Machine“. If you need help creating a virtual machine, read my article “How to Create a VMware Virtual Machine“.

Select your newly created virtual machine and, on the lower right-hand corner, click on “Edit Virtual Machine Settings“.

Select the current virtual hard drive and click on “Remove” (since this is a new virtual machine, your hard drive should be empty). Then, on the same window, click on “Add…” to add the new hard disk we just converted from Virtualbox.

On the Add Hardware Wizard window, select “Hard Disk” and click “Next” to continue.

On the following window, select “Use an existing virtual disk” and click “Next” to continue.

Next, browse to the location of your newly converted virtual machine. If you did not change the destination path when executing the conversion command, your file should be on the same location as your original Virtualbox hard disk, which is C:\Documents and Settings\<your username>\.VirtualBox\HardDisks (substitute “Documents and Settings” for “Users” in Windows Vista and 7). Once there, select your VMware vmdk hard disk file and click “Finish“.

Now we are finally ready to play our converted virtual machine. On the main VMware player screen, select your Virtual Machine, click “Play Virtual Machine“, and it should boot right up.

 

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