Sunday, 10 May 2015

Migrate a VMware disk to Virtualbox: VMware player does not work on the Dell XPS 13 2015 Developer Edition

The Dell XPS 13 2105 Developer Edition is a wonderful machine. It comes with plenty of punch in a small laptop but the most interesting thing is that it comes with Ubuntu loaded on it.

If you plan to use VMware player on it, you should know that I got plenty of issues as soon as I started using it: freezes every day or so, the sound was distorted and copy/paste wan't working 100%, I won't get in the details why I chose VMware player over Virtualbox in the first place.

For my office work (read: Microsoft Office 2013 ;-), I needed and purchased licences from Microsoft and wasn't too keen on creating a new virtual machine so I decided to migrate it. The best (and only) working solution I found was to convert the virtual harddrive and use it in VirtualBox. Here are the steps I followed (source):

Install qemu

sudo aptitude install qemu

Convert the virtual disk to a raw image

qemu-img convert /path/to/original.vmdk converted.bin


Convert the raw image to a VirtualBox vdi format:

VBoxManage convertdd converted.bin converted.vdi


 I then recreated a VirtualBox virtual machine around that harddrive and was good to go.
Note: I had to call the Microsoft support to (re)activate (virtual hardware had changed) Windows. I suppose they don't mind as long as you don't use the other virtual machine (which I don't intend to do since it was crashing my computer).

Please let me know if it helps (in the comment section below).