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I'm using vmware fusion on osx (Snow Leopard) and I noticed that for every virtual machine I have, there's a bunch of huge (2Gb) vmdk files? What are they, snapshots?

Can I delete some of them? How can I stop vmware fusion from creating this many vmdk files?

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they are:

Virtual disk that stores the contents of a VMware virtual machine hard disk; can be accessed as a physical hard disk with VMware software; typically named "[vmname].vdmk;" may be set at a fixed size or configured to grow over time using VMware's Virtual Disk Manager.

VDMK files are used by VMware software, but can also be mounted as a virtual disk using WinMount. Once the VDMK file has been mounted with WinMount, users can delete, copy, and modify files in the virtual disk.


As you can see, they are data files for your virtual machines. If you delete them, you will most likely lose data and corrupt your VM - so I wouldn't recommend deleting them unless you want to get rid of your virtual machine...

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(Speaking of VmWare Workstation, but I am guessing the same).

VMDK files are virtual hard drives.

Every time you split or take a snapshot, a new .VMDK file is created.

Deleting any .VMDK could cause problems and destroy the entire virtual machine (unless you spend a lot of time editing the .VMX file.

It is much safer to simply go in to VmWare Fusion and go snap shot management then delete all the points you do not need. It will automatically tidy up the saved files.

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Thanks Wil. When you suspend a machine and save the current state, does it also create a whole new vmdk? – Fernando Feb 17 '11 at 12:19
@Fernando - I know it creates a virtual memory file, but I am not sure if it creates a whole new .vmdk file. – William Hilsum Feb 17 '11 at 12:28
I just tried that, but in snapshots, I only have 1, while I have about 20 vmdk files... – Fernando Feb 17 '11 at 12:36
If you have created many snapshots and then deleted ones in between, it doesn't compress back to one. – William Hilsum Feb 17 '11 at 13:05

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