Proxmox to Vmware proxmox vmware

Proxmox to Vmware: How to migrate a Proxmox VM to Vmware

This article tells you how to convert a Proxmox VM to VMware in 3 steps (Proxmox to VMware). You convert the virtual disk and not the whole virtual machine. You should have some basic knowledge about SSH and Linux shell. All you need to know is how to navigate the directory structure in the Linux shell. The whole process only requires 3 commands. In my example, I explain how to convert the Linux monitoring system Zappix, where the disk size is 32GB. The whole process took less than an hour until the VM was up and running on VMware.

So let’s get started with our 3 steps.

Step 1: Preparation

Absolutely essential! As you know, good planning and preparation lay the groundwork for a successful job. You need admin credentials for the Proxmox Web GUI, VMware Vcenter or ESXi Web GUI, ssh for the Proxmox host, and the ESXi server. I recommend using Terminus SSH for the Mac and Putty or Kitty for Windows. However, Terminal on a Mac is also fine. Windows 10 now supports Linux shell too.

In my experience, gathering all credentials is essential and what takes the most time. Make sure you have all login information and have tested it. This will save you a lot of frustration. Only then are you ready for Step 2.

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Step 2: Convert the disk from Proxmox to Vmware vmdk disk format

First, log in to the Proxmox web GUI and locate the VM you want to convert. In the example below, locate the Hardware tab and check the Hard Disk name. That’s the disk you need to convert.

Proxmox to VMware

After that, log in to the Proxmox host – in this example, vir03 – with ssh. The location of the disk depends on how your Proxmox environment is set up. You could have a local disk for each host or shared storage.

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Once you locate the disk, use the command below to convert it to the VMware vmdk format

qemu-img convert -f raw rbd:Pool/vm-121-disk-9 -O vmdk zappix-neu.vmdk

Here the disk is located in the directory “rbd:Pool.” The command creates the zappix-neu.vmdk in the directory from where the command is executed. I recommend choosing a directory with enough free space for the new file. The process can take some time, depending on the disk size. Ensure not to terminate the ssh session because you will need it to copy the vmdk file later.


Step 3 – Creating a new VM in VMware Vcenter or ESXi

Login to Vcenter or ESXi GUI and create a new VM. The VM should have at least the same CPU and Memory as the original Proxmox VM. The disk size doesn’t really matter as you will replace it with the converted disk.

Then, log in to the ESXi host with ssh. You first need to enable ssh service in the Web GUI. Locate the datastore of the newly-created VM. Here again, the location depends on your environment.

Go back to your Proxmox ssh session. Now you need to transfer the converted vmdk files to the ESXi host. I do it with scp.

scp zappix-neu.vmdk 192.168.1.2://vmfs/volumes/5e25a9e7-1b498358-ae45-3cecef0c19ea/Zabbix

zappix-neu.vmdk is the disk file on the Proxmox. The IP address is from the ESXi host with the exact location where to copy the file to. Hit the “enter” key, and you will notice a progress bar in the ssh.

After that, you need to run this command.

vmkfstools -i zappix-neu.vmdk zappix.vmdk -d thin

The argument “thin” is crucial. Otherwise, the VM won’t boot up. Argument -d means to clone the disk. In this example, clone to zappix.vmdk.

We are almost done! Now, you need to attach the vmdk file as an existing hard drive to the VMware VM in the Vcenter or ESXi GUI you created. Remove the existing disk created when you initially set up the VM.

Now fire up the VM in VMware Vcenter or ESXi, and it should boot fine.

Remember to install the VMware tools and remove the Proxmox tools as the last task! Your Proxmox to Vmware job is done! 🙂

Vmware to Proxmox

Read here how to convert a VM from VMware to Proxmox


You may also find my article on configuring a home network and creating your own DNS nameserver valuable and informative.

Please let me know if this article was helpful, and use the comment section below. Thank you!


Vmware vs. Proxmos

What is the difference between the Hypervisors?

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4 Comments

  1. Didn’t worked for me after follow step by step. It never finish booting

    1. Hi – try to change in the Proxmox VM tab under Hardware SCSI Controller to a different controller type. I think after that your VM will boot. Unfortunately there is a issue with Windows to recognize the VirtiO SCSI driver. I experienced using a older version of VritIO could help.

  2. Hi, I read your article. But if the GUEST has two discs hooked up, what is the procedure to follow?

    1. Hello Marco – If you have more than one disk in the Proxmox environment you will see all disks listed, see picture under step 2. Just convert the 2nd disk like to first one to vmdk and transfer it to your VMware environment. For the VM in ESXi you can attach more than one disk. Overall it is not a big deal, just one more disk to convert. Hope this helps.

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