Virtual Guru's Blog – Home of Virtualization Workshops

April 17, 2009

Demonstrating VirtualBox 2.2 providing VMware Wrk 5.x + ESX compatility

For OpenSolaris Virtual Image and Virtual Appliances creation process most important is , if we can load VMDK file created on VirtualBox into VMware Workstation in ESX server family products.
For example for Devel, QA and LAB services can be important to make direct VMDK disk migration without to go throw painful OVF virtual disk compression/decompression.

This entry is part of Mastering Sun VirtualBox Workshop

Source Import Comments
VirtualBox 2.2 ESX VMDK with OpenSolaris VMware Workstation as 5.x+ESX profile OK, but with 1 small workaround
VirtualBox 2.2 ESX VMDK with OpenSolaris VMware ESX 3.5u4 OK, but with 2 small workarounds
VMware ESX VMDK with OpenSolaris VirtualBox 2.2 ESX profile OK, tested as part of compatibility design
VMware Workstation as 5.x+ESX VMDK with OpenSolaris VirtualBox 2.2 ESX profile OK

PS: Test was done only for 64bit, so you can try it for 32bit

Setting up VirtualBox 2.2 ESX compatible mode

1. Creating a ESX compatible fully allocated FLAT VMDK with CLI interface

#> mkdir d:\esxtest
#> "c:\Program Files\sun\xVM VirtualBox\VboxManage.exe" createhd help
VirtualBox Command Line Management Interface Version 2.2.0
(C) 2005-2009 Sun Microsystems, Inc.
All rights reserved.
VBoxManage createhd         --filename <filename>
--size <megabytes>
[--format VDI|VMDK|VHD] (default: VDI)
[--variant Standard,Fixed,Split2G,Stream,ESX]
[--type normal|writethrough] (default: normal)
[--comment <comment>]
#> "c:\Program Files\sun\xVM VirtualBox\VboxManage.exe" createhd --filename d:\esxtest\disk.vmdk --size 6000 --format VMDK --variant Fixed,ESX
Disk image created. UUID: 214eb9da-edbe-48e1-a60b-77b5b2608ab3
#> dir
Directory of D:\esxtest
04/16/2009  02:56 PM     6,291,456,000 disk-flat.vmdk
04/16/2009  02:55 PM               453 disk.vmdk

2. Import created disk in with Disk Manager

3. Create new and select Solaris/OpenSolaris64

3. Select LSISCSI and attach disk to LSISCSI

4. Select E1000/MT Server network

5. If you need you can set up Static Ethrent MAC address manually

Setting up VMware Workstation on Wrk5.x+ESX compatible mode

  • Create new -> custom
  • Select Wrk5.x+ESX profile

  • Select Solaris/Solaris64bit
  • Select Preallocated disk (it will force you to use LSISCSI)
  • It will not ask you about network adapter type, it selected automatically by 64bit OS selection as E1000

ESX disk created VirtualBox Import Workarounds


All workaround need to edit VMDK file configuration, on ESX compatible image this is save, because disk descriptor is separated from FLAT data file itself

  1. Workaround for VMware Wrk 5.x+ESX and VMware ESX import errors
Error on Workstation

Error on ESX 3.5u4


2. Workaround getting GRUB shell, wrong disk geometry on ESX 3.5u4 after I fix IDE-LSI 🙂


Important files for potential Templates creation


Looks good, so lest try next time, if I can make just one VMDK compressed file with OS installation and couple of different OVF descriptors for particular virtualization vendors.


1 Comment »

  1. […] Demonstrating VirtualBox 2.2 providing VMware Wrk 5.x + ESX compatibility […]

    Pingback by Mastering Sun VirtualBox « Virtual Guru's Blog – Home of Virtualization Workshops — February 7, 2010 @ 5:56 pm

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