VirtualBox to VMWare conversion woes

Converting VirtualBox images to VMWare ESX can be a pain in the neck. According to blog postings, creating or converting (from VDI) your vmware disk in VMDK Format should do. If you’re lucky, it will work out of the box by attaching the VMDK to a newly created VMWare virtual machine. I had three instances to convert, but only one worked immediately, the other two stopped after the boot loader with a bad file descriptor error.

There’s an alternative, though: the OVF Format. It’s an poorly supported exchange format, to which VirtualBox can export and for which VMware offers a conversion tool:

This installs a command line tool with the following syntax:

ovftool source target

source being your OVF file
target should be the name of the file you want to create

That tool isn’t without problems. It will initially refuse to convert, stating the following error:

Line 25: Unsupported hardware family ‘virtualbox-2.2’.

The workaround for this is adding the –lax parameter

ovftool –lax

You can then import your virtual machine to VMWare ESX

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