How to Use a VMDK File in VirtualBox


VirtualBox, a desktop virtual machine program, normally creates and uses virtual hard disk images in its native Virtual Disk Image, or VDI, format. VirtualBox also supports other popular virtual hard disk image format, including the Virtual Machine Disk, or VMDK, format created by VMware and other programs. If you have a VMware virtual hard disk in VMDK format, you can boot it in VirtualBox as a virtual machine or connect it to another virtual machine and access its contents


  • Click the "New" button on the toolbar and click "Next" in the window that appears.

  • Type a name for your virtual machine, such as the name of the operating system installed on the VMDK file, by typing it into the Name box.

  • Click the "Operating System" and "Version" boxes and select the operating system and version in the VMDK file.

  • Select a memory size by dragging the memory slider to the left or right, then click "Next."

  • Click the "Use Existing Hard Disk" option on the Virtual Hard Disk pane.

  • Click the "Choose a Virtual Hard Disk File" button to the right of the drop-down box.

  • Browse to the VMDK file on your computer and double-click it.

  • Click "Next" and "Finish."

  • Select your new virtual machine by clicking it in the VirtualBox window and click "Start" on the toolbar to boot the operating system on the VMDK file.

Access VMDK

  • Right-click a virtual machine in VirtualBox and select "Settings."

  • Click the "Storage" option in the Settings sidebar.

  • Click the plus icon at the bottom of the storage pane and select "Add Hard Disk."

  • Click the "Choose Existing Disk" button.

  • Browse to the VMDK file on your computer and double-click it.

  • Click "OK" to save your settings.

  • Click the "Start" button on the toolbar to boot the virtual machine and access your VMDK disk.

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