Convert virtual machine (VM) from VMware to Virtualbox

5 Jun 2014

In one of my mandates I got a 80 GB virtual machine for the VMware platform. On this machine the complete development platform was installed. Since I use VirtualBox on my Mac and really wanted to stay on this platform, I have been looking for methods to convert the VM from VMware to Virtualbox and then import them into it.

First I found a tool that could be downloaded from VMware (ovftool), I had installed it and used addtionally some modification - but I could not convert the VM.

ovftool /myPath/my_vm.vmx /myNewPath/my_new_vm.ovf

After visiting of some forums, I decided to install the trial version of VMware Fusion, and with the command below I could convert at least my VM.

/Applications/VMware OVF Tool/ovftool /myPath/my.vmx /myNewPath/my.ovf

That went without any problems (about 40 minutes to convert the 80 GB), then, I wanted to import the new my_new_vm.ovf file directly into the Virtualbox machine, unfortunately, came close to completion an error to the fore (SCSI controller not found). But even this, there is a solution. Maybe there is a shorter way, but I had to import the VM into VMware Fusion and then modify the hard disk controller from SCSI controller to IDE controller.

After this, I used again the ovftool to create a new VM that could be imported into Virtualbox.
/Applications/VMware OVF Tool/ovftool /myPath/new.vmx /myNewPath/new.ovf

See my long path to success, unfortunately, the size of the system has given me problems, so that I had to outsource files to an external USB disk.
I found a very good description on the internet on the oracle blog that describes the whole process in pictures.

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