How to convert VDI to VMDK; Converting a VirtualBox image to a VMware disk image and vice versa

You need the QEMU emulator software package
aptitude install qemu

in order to execute this command
qemu-img convert VirtualBox-HardDisk-image.vdi -O vmdk VMware-virtual-machine-image.vmdk

You should keep in mind that you might get an IDE VMware disk image in this way but a SCSI hard disk image is recommended by VMware for more I/O performance.

Just type

to get all supported formats which you can supply as the -O parameter. It is also possible to convert a VMDK to a VDI hard disk image. To convert a VMware image to a VirtulBox image, you have to use the qemu-img-vdi command which you can get by patching QEMU.
Afterwards you may execute this command:
qemu-img-vdi convert VMware-hard-disk-image.vmdk -O VDI VirtualBox-image.vdi


  1. Hi!!!! Nice Stuff but .vmdk is not working in the VMWare Player or VMWare Workstation
    it's ask .vmx formate.... what can i do ...

  2. great tutorial, its very useful. thanks brother.

  3. Anonymous7.1.10

    Hey Guys, came across this post on google among many others that say it can only be done via linux. Not so...
    For windows ppl the command is:
    vboxmanage clonehd [path to .vmdk] [path\name of new .vdi] --format VDI

  4. This comment has been removed by the author.

  5. VDI to VMDK did not work for me. Its creating just a blank disk. I found the correct way to convert vdi to vmdk which is working fine.
    Read more here

  6. Check out SmartVDK from SmartDeploy,

    SmartVDK converts from .vhd, .vmdk, .vdi. or .hdd to any of these formats and its free for non-commercial use.


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