Migrate VMWare image to ProxMox VE


I came across this problem as I hosted a few websites (among this one) on VM with Debian 5 on a VMWare server on a Windows system.

This was not the ideal setup so I wanted to migrate to ProxMox.

Step one was migrating the VM to ProxMox as a KVM and later I shall migrate the data to a OpenVZ container, but that’s out of the scope of this article.


Migrate a VMWare .vmdk image to ProxMox VE (KVM)


I assume you have root access to all servers and it’s handiest if you have fingerprinted the servers so you don’t have to log in everytime.

What do you need

  • A VMWare VM running on either VMWarePlayer, VMWare Workstation of VMWare Server.
  • A ProxMox server on a machine with a processor that supports VT

How to set this up

Copy the .vmdk file(s) to the new machine

If the VMWare image is hosted on a Windows machine, then it’s easiest to use FileZilla or WinSCP to SFTP/SCP the .vmdk file(s) to the server using your root credentials.
If the VMWare image is hosted on a Linux machine, then it’s easiest to use SSH to SCP the .vmdk file(s) to the server using your root credentials.

Create a KVM

Important is that you choose Type: KVM, Image Format: raw & Disk type: SCSI

Convert the .vmdk to .raw

qemu-img convert /home/ISPConfig/ISPConfig-000001.vmdk /home/richard/ISPConfig.raw

Replace the .raw images

cp -pv /home/richard/ISPConfig.raw /vz/images/205/vm-205-disk-1.raw

Start the KVM

Join the Conversation


  1. Hey, Great article! I did this with a Windows 7 machine, and all I needed to change was the disk type = IDE from SCSI.

  2. Hi sir when I made it myself this procedure, my machine displays kernel panic not syncing Attempted to kill init .

    can i helps me please ?

  3. It’s worth mentioning that this won’t work if the vmdk image you’re working with is VMDK version 3. Still researching how to accomplish this.

    1. It’s an old article for Proxmox 1.x while Proxmox 4.x is out now, there are new versions for VMware too so this is outdated

  4. Hi, this nice article.. but i’m used proxmox 4.2, VM Images isn’t distribution on “/var/lib/vz/images” and this article not work for that version. what you have a new article for newer version of proxmox or have solution for migrate VMware VM to Proxmox ?

    1. Hai Agung,

      I’m not doing another article because I’m not using Proxmox anymore myself.
      This post will probably not be compatible with their latest version, thanks for mentioning though!

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