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I’ve got a VMWare virtual machine that I want to upload to a virtual server hosting service. The service accepts virtual machine images in .raw format (as per “How Can I Migrate VMWare Virtual Servers into Your Cloud” on

How can I convert my virtual machine’s virtual hard disk into .raw format? The virtual machine is running Debian 6.

My host OS is Mac OS X 10.6, and I couldn’t work out how to compile Qemu on it (./configure; make; returned an error.)

I was wondering if one of the command-line tools at /Library/Application Support/VMWare Fusion/ might do it? E.g. vmware-rawdiskCreator?

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One way would be mounting the drive and copying it as a block device to a file with the dd command. – Bob Feb 26 '13 at 16:42
up vote 4 down vote accepted

VMWare provide a guide for this, for Windows guests:

If your guest OS is Linux, VirtualBox may be able to convert it.

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Ah yes — that looks spot on; unfortunately it requires the virtual machine to be running Windows. Mine’s running Debian Linux (sorry, I failed to mention that on the original question). – Paul D. Waite Mar 26 '11 at 18:18
Then you may be able to achieve it by installing VirtualBox and using the VBoxManage command. – Majenko Mar 26 '11 at 19:14
aha, cheers, I’ll give that a go. – Paul D. Waite Mar 27 '11 at 11:05
VirtualBox worked a treat, many thanks for the tip. – Paul D. Waite Mar 29 '11 at 7:53
Specifically: VBoxManage clonehd PATH_TO_VMDK_FILE PATH_FOR_RAW_VERSION --format RAW. The VMDK file lives inside the the virtual machine’s bundle (in the Terminal it’s the bundle’s name in the Finder plus .vmwarevm), and you can find its file name in the GUI by selecting the VM, and selecting Virtual Machine > Settings > Removable Devices > Hard Disk. – Paul D. Waite Dec 25 '11 at 17:14

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