03.10.2008

Using VMWare Images with Virtualbox

After installing VMWare 2.0 and VirtualBox 2.0.2 i wanted to make a comparison of both virtualization engines. I thought about installing the same guest in both software stacks. But this seemed like too much work ;-). So i started to google about migrating a guest from VMWare to Virtualbox.
I found this helpful blog.
So it is very easy. I created a new Virtual Machine like shown in my posting about VirtualBox and at the step Virtual Hard Disk

i chose Existing...

and added the vmdk-file from the debian-guest, which i used with VMWare Server 2.0.
So i thought, everything was ready but after pressing start the system stopped with:

Waiting for root file system

After a short search, i found out, that VMWare prefers guest systems with SCSI hdd controllers and VirtualBox can only mount IDE hard disks. But this was not really a problem. I started the guest on VMWare and changed the following lines:
in /boot/grub/menu.lst
from kernel /boot/vmlinuz-2.6.18-4-686 root=/dev/sda1 ro
to root=/dev/hda1
and i changed in /etc/fstab all entries with sda to hda. After these changes, the guest bootet without a problem in my VirtualBox.
But it is clear, that with this configuration, it will not run on VMWare. So i changed in the .vmx file all entries form scsi0:0 to ide0:0 and in the .vmdk file the parameter adapterType=lsilogic to ide. Now the guest os is able to start in both virtualization servers.
So everything is ready for a comparison and there is an easy way for migrating from VMWare to VirtualBox, if i want to move...
If you to know how to configure networking via GUI, read this posting.

Kommentare:

  1. Thanks a lot!
    Greetings from Switzerland

    AntwortenLöschen
  2. Hi,
    Since I don't have the VMware, I can't do the changes you stated in your guide, using vmware. I just got the vbox and the guest image created in vmware. I tried to change the booting parameter from sda2 to hda2 exactly in the grub -not in menu.lst file-, as you can predict, since I don't change the /etc/fstab, I received kernel-panic error. So, do you know any other solution, using only the vbox?

    Thanks a lot.

    AntwortenLöschen
  3. Hi,

    have you tried
    http://blog.baeke.info/blog/Technologies/VirtualMachines/_archives/2005/6/6/914327.html
    or
    http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?p=1928545

    AntwortenLöschen
  4. For those stumbling on this thread as I did, it may be good to try just changing the root device in grub. My VirtualBox (2.1.4) also hung trying to find the root disk, but after changing to root=hda1 my image (debian lenny) booted just fine. Even if the disk is referenced (and eventually mounted) as /dev/sda1 in /etc/fstab.

    I also believe that newer Ubuntu's use a UUID to identify disk and don't rely on the old /dev/(s|h)dax notation. So changing the root device in grub should be enough there too.

    AntwortenLöschen
  5. Hi
    I have a vmware virtual machine with ubuntu 8.10.
    I tried to run it in virtual box. It first worked fine but at second but it went into read only mode for the mounts and stopped working. Also whenever I tried to start the same virtual machine in vmware grub returned the error message 18.
    I figured out that I had to change the setting in the vmx and vmdk file to start in vmware now. Also i figured out that the harddisk was corrupt had to start from live disc and repaired the volume. Also I had to recover the fstab file which got lost. Now my virtual machine works in vmware again, but when I change the vmdk and vmx fiel back to scsi grub gives me the error again. What can I do? in the menu.lst all possible booting options are linked via the uuid and changing it to /dev/sda1 does not help either.
    What does virtual box change in the linux confguration?

    cheers marc

    AntwortenLöschen
  6. Perhaps things have changed, but in VB 3.0.8 I could avoid changes to grub and fstab by using these settings in Configuration/ Hard Disks:
    - Activate SATA (AHCI) Controller
    - in Slot, choose SATA, Port 0

    AntwortenLöschen
  7. Thank you very much! you saved me a lot of time!

    cheers!

    AntwortenLöschen
  8. in 2012 works fine! Tested with old vmware image (2008-??) and virtual box 4.2.4
    thanks!!!

    AntwortenLöschen
  9. I believe what you said made a ton of sense. But, what about
    this? suppose you wrote a catchier post title? I mean, I don't want to tell you how to run your website,
    but suppose you added a post title to maybe
    get a person's attention? I mean "Using VMWare Images with Virtualbox" is kinda vanilla.
    You might peek at Yahoo's home page and note how they create post headlines to grab people to click.
    You might add a video or a picture or two to get readers interested
    about what you've got to say. In my opinion, it might make your posts a
    little livelier.

    AntwortenLöschen