How to Import and Export Virtual Machine VMDK file from a VMware ESX to another VMware ESX

Posted by Planet Malaysia on November 26, 2007

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The following tutorial will teach you "How to Import & Export Virtual Machine VMDK file from a VMware ESX to another VMware ESX server".

Importing & exporting from one VMware ESX to another VMware ESX may involve slightly different vmdk file format, security setting and do not share any VMFS. The best tools is using vmkfstools command.

vmkstools is VMware ESX Server file system management tool. It is a program for creating and manipulating virtual disks, file systems, logical volumes and pyhsical storage device on the VMware ESX Server.

The example below based on VMware ESX 3.x.x:

Exporting a virtual disk from VMware ESX Server 1: 

vmkfstools -e /vmfolder/exportvmdiskkfilename.vmdk /vmfs/vmdiskfile.vmdk

Copy vmdk file from ESX Server 1 to ESX Server 2: 

scp  /vmfs/vmdiskfile.vmdk root@esx2:/vmfolder/vmdiskfile.vmdk

Importing a virtual disk inside VMware ESX Server 2: 

vmkfstools -i /vmfolder/vmdiskfile.vmdk /vmfs/vmserver1.vmdk

Warning: The destination path /vmfs/vmserver1.vmdk shold not contain any existing files with the name ‘vmserver1.vmdk’. If it does the file will be overwritten.

Once the VMDK file copying over to ESX Server 2, you can register virtual machine using: vmware-cmd -s register <config_file_path>.

Additional information regarding the vmkfstools & vmware-cmd command can be found in the ESX Server documentation or type man vmkfstools & man vmware-cmd.

Probably you may look for any other VMware third party add-on tools for make your job easy. 

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Comments

2 Responses to “How to Import and Export Virtual Machine VMDK file from a VMware ESX to another VMware ESX”

  1. vmkernel on April 7th, 2008 11:13 am

    vmkfstools -i template.vmdk -d 2gbsparse /vmfs/volumes/SANLUN/newtemplate.vmdk

  2. VMware ESX « טכנולוג מוסמך on April 8th, 2011 4:02 am

    [...] Import/Export Vmdk from one server to another [...]

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