VMWare to Virtualbox Migration

VMWare to Virtualbox Migration


Move virtual machines from a VMWare host to Virtualbox host


Virtualbox is a virtual machine hosting platform. It provides a way to run virtualized computers inside a hosting computer. These virtual machines have the same functionality of physical computers, without the need of additional hardware.

VMWare is another hosting platform. It also provides the basic functionality of Virtualbox. I’ll be showing how to move virtual machines native to VMWare into Virtualbox. These steps are based off of the post, http://stackoverflow.com/questions/6944154/migrating-from-vmware-to-virtualbox


First install Virtualbox on the hosting computer. You can find additional information on the vendor’s website, https://www.virtualbox.org/. I’ll be installing mine on an Ubuntu system using the following command.

sudo apt-get install virtualbox

Once installed, I can verify all is working by entering this command in a terminal window.


This will bring up the Oracle VM VirtualBox Manager. Before we go any further, we’ll want to get the settings of the virtual machine running in VMWare.

Open up the VMWare console and click on the VM in the inventory. Make note of the hardware listed in the summary tab. In my example, I’ve got 1GB RAM, a NIC, SCSI Controller, 1 CPU, CD/DVD drive, and lastly a 32GB hard drive. It’s important to note that my VM hard drive is a single file. You’ll need to convert your VM hard drives to a single file if they are split, see details in the StackOverFlow link above.

Now that the settings are known, I can create my VM in VirtualBox Manager. I’ll match the settings but choose an existing hard drive during setup. I’ll choose my existing VMDK file.

Display size on my Ubuntu VM was stuck at 640 x 480, this was fixed by installing the VirtualBox guest software. See this video for a demonstration, https://youtu.be/t36wXUu1UtQ

Virtual box offers similar feature sets that VMWare does. There are some features on one that aren’t on the other and vice versa. Virtual box has screen capture, whereas VMWare has boot up on host reboot. Virtual box can boot up a VM on host reboot by placing the command in the OS startup routine, see this link for details.


On my system, I have a vm I would like to start automaticlly at bootup. Since my host is linux, I am considering placing a similar script in my “run at bootup” routine.

Anyway, virtual machines moved from VMWare to Virtual box are a one way route. Be prepared to have a backup if you plan to return back.

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