Convert VMware Fusion (.vmwarevm or .vmdk) VM’s to Xen

This technique allows you to convert VMware based VM’s across to the Xen Hypervisor (current version 4.1.3)

This step might be unnessaray for VM’s that don’t utilise sparse based virtual harddrives, but its best just to do it so everyone is at the same step. Find the vmware-vdiskmanager utility included with your VMware install.

On Mac for VMware Fusion this can be found at:


Or in some other versions

/Library/Application\ Support/VMware\ Fusion/vmware-vdiskmanager

Change ‘cd’ into the relevant directory once found.
Consolidate the VMDK file

./vmware-vdiskmanager -r vm_to_be_converted.vmdk -t 0 temp.vmdk

Copy the temp VMDK across to the target Xen Hypervisor

scp temp.vmdk root@target_ip:/var/lib/libvirt/images

Once copied, use qumu-img to convert the VMDK file to a RAW format
qemu-img convert temp.vmdk -O raw /var/lib/libvirt/images/temp.img

Create a basic config file for the new VM

cd /etc/xen/new_vm_config

name = “new_vm”
memory = “256”
disk = [ ‘file:/var/lib/libvirt/images/temp.iso,hda,w’, ]
vif = [ ‘bridge=br0’, ]
on_reboot = ‘restart’
on_crash = ‘restart’

Boot up the new VM

xm create new_vm

You may find network may be unavailable, due to a change in MAC addresses assigned to the VM. Use virsh edit to find the current MAC address assigned to the VM, and update the network interface within the VM accordingly. Then reboot the VM or restart network services in order to re-establish network access.

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