Windows 10: Convert VMWare / Vbox VM's to KVM

Discus and support Convert VMWare / Vbox VM's to KVM in Windows 10 Virtualization to solve the problem; Hi folks If you want to convert VMWare VM's or VBOX ones to KVM it's a fairly straight forward but longish process. depending on the size of the... Discussion in 'Windows 10 Virtualization' started by jimbo45, Mar 31, 2021.

  1. jimbo45 Win User

    Convert VMWare / Vbox VM's to KVM


    Hi folks
    If you want to convert VMWare VM's or VBOX ones to KVM it's a fairly straight forward but longish process. depending on the size of the original VM's.

    The Virtual disk though must be in a single vdmk image so if you have several vdmk files (most people do not allocate the virtual disk as a single file right at the start so it usually grows over time) you need to create a new single vdmk disk.

    Don't waste your time by using v2-v type programs or those that combine the multiple vdmk files into a single one -- I've been down that route - usually unsuccessfully after a lot of time and the obvious and best way is to create a new single vdmk image and clone from the original !!!. Why I never thought of that in the first place --no idea !!!.

    Then using Macrium or similar clone the original vdmk to the new one.

    Now on the KVM system simply run the following command :

    qemu-img convert -f vmdk <vmware_image.vmdk> -O qcow2 <kvm_image.qcow2>

    Now you can build the Virtual machine using the converted image. Try and keep the hardware as near as possible to what was in the VMware or Vbox one -- looking at the configuration files will help.

    Before you start the Virtual disk clone before converting back up the original VM if you want to keep it and then uninstall VMWare tools / Vbox additions. I'd also uninstall the virtual network adapters, any vmware sound adapters and possibly any virtual USB device.

    You can add the appropriate adapters back to the KVM setup file for your new VM -- use the Virtual Machine manager GUI if you aren't happy with complex CLI commands for manging VM's -- certainly it's easier when just starting out with this stuff - install virtual machine manager on your HOST KVM system as well as the QEMU/KVM option.

    If using EFI systems ensure that the ovmf package is installed on the KVM system .


    Convert VMWare / Vbox VM's to KVM [​IMG]


    For those using MBR / BIOS

    Here's an XP system -- I had to change the chipset as XP BIOS doen't support some AHCP functionality vut no probs with SATA/SCSI etc.


    Convert VMWare / Vbox VM's to KVM [​IMG]


    I've converted all mine (around 9) without any issues apart from just time and running out of Disk space. !!!!
    Ensure you use the same UUID's otherwise Windows might get aggressive and want Activation -- "Significant hardware change detected".

    I tried to cheat by "imaging a VMware Windows 10 VM" and restoring it on to a blank KVM virtual disk but I couldn't get it to boot - even by using the Macrium fix Windows boot problems. I haven't yet given up on this but one thing might work is to re-create the boot loader on Windows from the Windows WIM image. However I didn't have a WIM for W7.

    Have fun. This sort of stuff consumes much more time than you think - but I suppose a lot of us have more time these days for all sorts of reasons. !!!!

    I suppose there might also be people bonkers enough to want to do the reverse !!!!! It's possible but as the text books say "We'll leave that as an exercise for our readers" !!!.

    Cheers
    jimbo

    :)
     
    jimbo45, Mar 31, 2021
    #1
  2. jimbo45 Win User

    Windows VM V2V (Virt to Virt) conversion KVM to and from VMWare

    Hi there
    The easiest way to achieve converting a Windows VM from (or to) KVM / VMWare is to forget about the VMWare's conversion software -- doesn't really work satisfactorily and takes forever to run is simply to do the following

    a) From KVM to VMWare (or even to a Real machine --then don't install VMWare tools if converting to a real machine).

    1) ensure you have an iso image of Macrium's recovery software .
    2) simply take an image of the windows VM from within the VM via Macrium free or similar.
    3) create a basic VM on Vmware - don't install the OS etc - simply create the virtual hard disk and virtual DVD drive pointing to the iso image of macriums' bootable recovery media.
    4) restore the image
    5) you will certainly then need to "Fix windows boot problems" so boot from the firmware via the VM menu to boot from the iso image.
    6) should be bootable -- now update drivers etc as required and of course install VMWare tools.

    Note if you have vmware player you'll need to add a line each time into the VMWare config file to get the VM to boot into the firmware (i.e setup)

    Another trap for the unwary -- if you want to set the VM as booting via UEFI) and the option is greyed out on VMWare WKS or you are on VMWare player then do it as per my very old post (still valid) here.

    This also shows the addition that VMWare player users can make to get the VM to boot into the firmware (setup) menu -- note also you have to do that each time you want to boot into the firmware when using VMWare player.

    VMWARE create EFI Virtual machine (solved)

    b) from VMWare to KVM


    steps 1) and 2) as above
    3) create your VM via the Virtual machine manager in KVM if using a GUI (can be done with CLI and XML but if you have the GUI use that as it's quite a nice interface and really easy to use). ensure Iso image is added as a CD ROM
    4) restore image
    steps 5) and 6) as above (but you won't need VMWare tools in the VM so no need to install it)

    You'll need to alter the networking for KVM -- to get full network access you will need to set to bridged networking and create a network bridge from a real NIC to the network bridge -- bridge-utils does that. Limitation here is you can't currently do this on a Wireless networking --in that case you'll have to stick with NAT which gives the VM internet access.

    Anyway have fun -- it's much quicker making VM's like this rather than creating from scratch for the different platforms if you want to try out different systems.

    This might also work for Virtual Box (VBOX) too but I haven't installed that. (As the old textbooks used to say "That's left as an exercise for our readers" !!). Could also work for VM's with HYPER-V --I might test the process later.

    Here's result -- Identical Windows 10 (build 331) on VMWare (converted from the KVM one) and QEMU / KVM running on Linux kernel 5.7.7 - You can run KVM Hypervisor and VMWare VM's concurrently BTW).


    Convert VMWare / Vbox VM's to KVM [​IMG]


    The only difference was I renamed the VMWare one so as not to have 2 machines with the same netname on the Lan - the Windows machines end in HUNDUR the NAS machines are the other ones.

    The VMWare machine didn't even want / require re-activation.

    Cheers
    jimbo
     
    jimbo45, Mar 31, 2021
    #2
  3. jimbo45 Win User
    HYPER-V and VMWare / VBOX concurrently

    Hi Windows Gurus

    I'm at a bit of a loss to understand why Windows can't run VMWare and HYPER-V concurrently while VBOX seems to get indeterminate results -- some say it works others say it just hangs.

    I've messed around quite a lot with the QEMU/KVM equivalent Hypervisor and it has absolutely NO problem running Guests on VBOX, VMware, and HYPER-V (2nd level VM --very slow though !!) all concurrently as well as VM's on its own platform. OK if you do this you can only passthru hardware to specific VM's - but the normal paravirtualisation works so VM's will run concurrently.

    Linux kernel --5.4.13

    Here's two W10 VMs running on KVM/QEMU and VMWare concurrently - no problems at all.


    Convert VMWare / Vbox VM's to KVM [​IMG]


    So this must surely be a Windows issue rather than a VMware or Oracle (VBOX) problem -- I know VMWare is working to get this resolved in a new release -- that means though yet more expense !!! to something that already works on another platform.

    I wish Windows developers would concentrate more on these sorts of issues rather than messing about worrying what new icons look like and things like that.

    Cheers
    jimbo
     
    jimbo45, Mar 31, 2021
    #3
  4. jimbo45 Win User

    Convert VMWare / Vbox VM's to KVM

    Windows VM stucks on Virtualbox but not on VMWare

    Hi there
    @Eiffelsturm

    What HOST machine are you running -- If Linux then there's no problem of running VBOX, QEMU/KVM and VMWARE (WKS or Player) all concurrently if you so wish.

    Here I've got an XP VM running on VMWare Workstation V16 and a W10 VM running on QEMU/KVM concurrently with zero problems.

    Host is ARCH Linux with plasma (KDE) desktop and kernel 5.10.10-arch1-1


    Convert VMWare / Vbox VM's to KVM [​IMG]


    Note though you have to enable and start usb arbitration service (to connect USB devices to the VM) and ensure networking is enabled for connectivity of VM's to network and / or Internet.

    On a Windows Host VMWare was working to ensure that its products also work with HYPER-V running -- this may work in rel 16 but I'm not on a Windows host so I can't check this. VBOX AFAIK doesn't currently run concurrently with HYPER-V -- it might do but I don't use it so I can't say.

    IMO if it's for testing at home I'd go for the free VMWare player compared with VBOX but choice is yours. I've found - at least on Windows Hosts VMWare products tend to work more or less OK.

    EFI boot isn't normally required for VM's -- if you use QEMU/KVM you will need to install OVMF to create EFI bootable machines. VMWare whether on Windows or Linux should give you the option.


    Convert VMWare / Vbox VM's to KVM [​IMG]


    Hope "Alles in ordnung"

    Cheers
    jimbo
     
    jimbo45, Mar 31, 2021
    #4
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Convert VMWare / Vbox VM's to KVM

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