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[ How to import .vmdk to Proxmox (qemu) ]

This is a short post on how to easily and quickly import a .vmdk disk type into your qemu powered virtualization manager (like Proxmox). While the solution may look VERY simple, this actually took me about half of a day to research/test/fail/troubleshoot/etc., so I really hope it may help other people (and me in future, when coming back to this post).

Short intro

While doing my on-demand SANS FOR509 training, I had to import the VM provided by them. And since there’s already a Proxmox instance running on my beefed up home lab server, I thought that maybe it is a good idea to just import the VM there. Yeah, right… :D

The initial file was an .iso, containing a .7z archive. The archive had 2 files: .vmdk and .vmx. The disk image (.vmdk) was about 8.8GB, with a 500GB of virtual space. After unpacking everything, it was time to start the import.

Import .vmdk disk to Proxmox

These are the steps that I followed to properly import the .vmdk:

  1. Create a new VM
    • General Tab: provide VM ID and VM Name
    • OS Tab: Select “Do not use any media” and “Other” for Guest OS Type
    • System: Leave everything by default
    • Disks: Remove any default disks (we don’t need anything since we’ll be importing)
    • Set CPU/Memory/Network to whatever you need
  2. Copy the .vmdk file to your PVE host using scp (e.g.: /tmp directory should do the job)
  3. Now convert and import the .vmdk disk to the newly created VM. For example, if the VM id is 509 and the .vmdk file name is for509.vmdk, then the command would be:
    qm importdisk 509 for509.vmdk local-lvm --format raw
  4. IMPORTANT: Wait until the command completes executing. qm importdisk imports the disk relatively quickly, but then gets stuck at 100% progress for a while. DO NOT kill it!
    • I recommend running disk import command (step 3) in a separate screen session.
  5. Once qm importdisk is finished, you need to rescan disks in order to see the newly imported disk in the Hardware section of your VM. Execute the following command:
    qm rescan
  6. Attach the disk to VM (double click on the new disk and click “Add” in the pop-up window)

That’s it! You now have successfully imported a .vmdk disk into your Proxmox managed VM.

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