How to open a .vmdk file in Oracle VirtualBox

Opening a VMDK file (Virtual Machine Disk, is a file format used for virtual appliances developed for VMware products) in Oracle VirtualBox is ridiculously simple! But when googled for this method I was surprised to find that there were no tutorials explaining this simple procedure. All of them wanted me to convert the .vmdk file to a .vdi file. To put it words you “You Just Need to Run it”. There is how it is….

 1. In the VirtualBox  Manager click the New button to create a new virtual machine.

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2. Input the name of your virtual machine and select the OS you would like to have. I selected Linux and Debian as I will be running a Turnkey Linux VMDK

3. Set the amount of memory you would like to have for the VM. 

4. Now you will be prompted to create a virtual hard disk. This is an important step in running your .vmdk file. Select the option ‘Use existing hard disk’ and click the “Choose a virtual hard disk file ….’ button.

5.  In the file selection window that opens up browse and select the .vmdk file you wish to open.

6. Click Open.

7.Now the ‘Use existing hard disk’ option will have the .vmdk file you selected. Click Next.

8. Click ‘Create’ to finish the process

9. Now your VirtualBox  Manager will have the new virtual machine listed. Click ‘Start’ to run the VM.

Please let me know if this method worked for.

  • Vijay

    Thanks…Its working fine…..

    • Ryan

      Hi now after setting it up I want to access the WEB GUI over my browser…how do i do that

  • Jibarito

    Hi I am trying to run the GNS3 VMDK on Virtualbox and I am getting the following error:

    Failed to open the hard disk C:UsersDannyDesktopWorkBench.vmdk.Could not get the storage format of the medium ‘C:UsersJohnDesktopWorkBench.vmdk’ (VERR_NOT_SUPPORTED).Result Code: VBOX_E_IPRT_ERROR (0x80BB0005)Component: MediumInterface: IMedium {29989373-b111-4654-8493-2e1176cba890}Callee: IVirtualBox {3b2f08eb-b810-4715-bee0-bb06b9880ad2}Callee RC: VBOX_E_OBJECT_NOT_FOUND (0x80BB0001)

    I created a virtual machine using Linux Ubuntu. Am I doing something wrong?

  • Sachin Dixit

    Amazing , it worked for me in case cloudera vmdk file . Thanks .

  • Al

    It did not work for me !
    My host is windows 7 /64 bits and my virtual drive was previously running under Ubuntu 12.04 /64 bits, the OS inside is XP SP3.

    From what i could see in some forums I probably have to modify the format of the image file from vmdk to vdi, but i could not find how to proceed.
    Any idea ?!

    “Impossible to open the hard drive C:Usersmy-name.VirtualBoxHardDisksXP SP3.vmdk.

    Could not get the storage format of the medium ‘C:Usersmy-name.VirtualBoxHardDisksXP SP3.vmdk’ (VERR_NOT_SUPPORTED).Error Code : VBOX_E_IPRT_ERROR (0x80BB0005)Composant : MediumInterface : IMedium {29989373-b111-4654-8493-2e1176cba890}Function call : IVirtualBox {3b2f08eb-b810-4715-bee0-bb06b9880ad2}Returned Code : VBOX_E_OBJECT_NOT_FOUND (0x80BB0001)”

    • seth

      I got VBOX_E_OBJECT_NOT_FOUND error at first. It turned out to be a rights issue – the files’ owner/group had gotten munged in the transfer.

      A little CHOWN action and all is well.

      • Sed

        Thank you! I ran into the same problem. Changing permissions on the .vmdk fixed my issue. Thank you so much for your post!

  • welgil8

    Muito agradecido! Está funcionando muito bem o “Windows 8 x64.vmdk” no VirtualBox!

  • denzil

    It worked for me when I did as mentioned here for .vmdk file.However,when I run command “ifconfig -a”,it is not giving the inet addr(address) which I need for my NAT setting and application to work.Could you pls let me know how to solve this.

  • Vicky

    If there are multiple vmdk files for a particular OS how do I load it??

  • mm

    It works! Thanks.

  • Pico Dee

    Thanks you so much. I mean you kept it simple and sweet. Awesome tut.

  • SpecialAgentOSO

    How long should it take to create a Virtual Machine of Windows 7 on a MacBook Pro thats running OS10? Does it usually take such a long time (hours)?

  • Juan

    It did not work for me. Two windows opened.
    It says it terminated unexpectedly and:

    Result Code: NS_ERROR_FAILURE
    Component: Mahcine
    Interface: IMachine

    Another window said RTR3InitEx failed with rc=-1912
    “The VirtualBox kernel modules do not match this version of VirtualBox. The installation of VirtualBox was apparently not successful”

  • lipesg

    This article helped me a lot!

  • Mauricio Lange

    Worked perfectly for me.

  • Lek

    Hi I just tried to setup oracle VM using the instructions to load a .vmdk image.
    When I tried to start the VM i got “no boot image found”
    I am running Ubuntu, and the image was of a Ubuntu box.
    To make the image I ran using sudo:
    qemu-img create -f vmdk myimage.vmdk 4G

    Any thoughts?
    Apart from not booting, it all went smoothly


  • tester

    Thanks for the simple instructions – one minor note, using the latest vmware converter the default drive type in the VMDK is an LSI SCSI – I got BSOD’s on booting the converted VM into Virtualbox until I removed the default IDE controller and added an LSI SCSI controller, then it worked like a champ!

  • Tulin Kilinc

    It did work for me. Thanks a lot!

  • Papast Martia

    thank you a lot!

  • Jon- FarmCat Media

    You totally saved me a ton of time! I kept trying to us Virtual Box but couldn’t get the configurations. This worked %100!

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  • David Perks

    Thanks. Useful reminder.

  • ben5556

    Works like a charm

  • DG

    Thanks for it. It really helped a lot.

  • sai

    thanks a lot, it worked.

  • Felipe

    thx works great

  • Babu Dhinakaran

    Thanks Girish, it works.

  • Krishna Vijay Kumar singh

    Thank you For your Post it is really helpfull.

  • satya

    Hi Girish,
    I followed the steps you mentioned. My native OS is OS X.
    The new VM did setup in my virtual box. But when I start the VM it is not coming anything.
    just black screen, no progress.

    Any clue on this.

  • Josh

    One of these little non-obvious tricks that is *so* helpful! Thanks for that.

  • Worked for me with a Windows 8.1 VM exported from Parallels 9 using VMWare Standalone Converter.

  • rafael

    I love such a user guides! They never used to foresee any problems. Never. Everything just works.
    Not, not in reality. So, if you want to write anything please google for potential problems if your experience is too small to provide a complete, professional user guide.

    I.e. one of many issues during .vmdk import:

    Failed to open the disk image file /Volumes/Dane/XXXXXX/Windows XP Professional-000001-s001.vmdk.

    Could not get the storage format of the medium ‘/Volumes/Dane/XXXXXX/Windows XP Professional-000001-s001.vmdk’ (VERR_NOT_SUPPORTED).

    Result Code: VBOX_E_IPRT_ERROR (0x80BB0005)
    Component: MediumWrap
    Interface: IMedium {4afe423b-43e0-e9d0-82e8-ceb307940dda}
    Callee: IVirtualBox {0169423f-46b4-cde9-91af-1e9d5b6cd945}
    Callee RC: VBOX_E_OBJECT_NOT_FOUND (0x80BB0001)

    • Bastien

      Hello, I am having this problem and even with a google search I could not find a solution to fix this problem… I am litterally desperate and I know this post is from a long time ago but if someone sees this SOS please answer me haha

  • Student

    Thanks, it worked.

  • Maximo21

    Thanks a lot! it also worked for me 🙂

    • Maximo21

      And we are on January 20th 2016, and not October 16 😛

  • allen

    Thank you

  • Neeraj Sharda

    Thanks. It worked well 🙂

  • Yochanan

    Thanks, It did work for me. Was a bit puzzled.

  • SRK

    Thanks mate – it worked. Thanks again

  • hi.. I have a VM on Esxi Server ,I’m using vSphere client ,I export that vm and trying to import it on Virtual box and I’m getting following error:
    Could not find a storage controller named ‘SCSI Controller’.

    In the vSphere client i m not able to change the adapter type as suggested in many of the links on google..
    Is there any other solution to migrate VM from vSphere to Virtual box??
    Many Thanks..

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  • Александр

    Thank You !!!

  • thanks .

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  • Mallikarjuna

    Hi Girish,

    Tanks, It is working fine. 🙂

  • mohammed

    thanks very much

  • Tanvee Aslam

    i downloaded psiphone apk file for pc from here but is not good thanks for effort to provide me best apk file apkall

  • Ric

    Girish R – You’re my wizard tonight!!! I had forgotten all about that simple method!! You gave me much more time to study this evening! THANK YOU!

  • Klym

    Thank you )

  • Kenneth

    I am running virtualbox in a Linux Mint 17.3 host. I have a Windows 7 Pro virtual machine installed as guest and am debating about trying to install the Win10 free upgrade on top over the Win 7 virtual machine. Or as an alternative, I already have a Windows 10 physical installation on a separate hard drive that I can run in an optical bay adapter on my laptop. Lenovo T520. If I install vmware converter in Windows 10 I have a plugin USB DVD drive that I can use to “capture” the virtual machine.
    Reading the comments from 2012 there’s nothing about doing Windows 10 with vmware converter, and then importing the VMDK into Virtual Box.


    Hi this workflow is excellent. It was worked me fine.

  • Aled Long

    Many thanks for your effort.

    • Girish R