VirtualBox has become my desktop virtualization software of choice for both Windows and Mac hosts. I’ve used it on Windows for years but stuck to VMware Fusion on the Mac, only recently replacing it. It’s not as polished as VMware Fusion but gets the job done. This post is a collection of notes and tips I’ve collected. It will be updated over time, rather than creating new posts. The last update was Nov 17, 2012.
These all worked for me on Windows and OS X with VirtualBox 4.2. They should work on Linux too, but I haven’t tried them. On OS X run the commands from a terminal windows. On Windows run them from a command prompt.
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Converting a Virtual Disk type
I converted several VMs from VMware Fusion. While the VMware VMDK disk format can be used to run a VM, not all features are supported, such as resizing. This command line can be used to convert the disk. NOTE: The command line below doesn’t properly display the double-dashes in the command. the format and variant parameters are both preceded by two dashes.
vboxmanage clonehd “/path/to/source/disk/image.vmdk” “/path/to/destination/disk/image.vdi –format VDI –variant standard
The VMs using the disk will not be automatically updated. After the conversion remove the old disk image from the VM and attach the new one.
Expanding A Virtual Disk
I started getting low disk warnings on a couple VMs so needed to expand the virtual disks. Note: Again, the resize parameter is preceded by two dashes.
vboxmanage modifyhd “/path/to/disk/to/expand.vdi” –resize 30720
The new disk size will be reflected in the VM properties:
It’s not reflected on the running Virtual Machine for Windows VMs.
It is available but not allocated in Disk Manager.
Expand Drive C: to use the new space. Right-Click the drive C: partition and select ‘Extend Volume” and run the wizard to use all the available space. The default values work for this.
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