Windows VM V2V (Virt to Virt) conversion KVM to and from VMWare

  1. Posts : 11,176
    Windows / Linux : Arch Linux

    Windows VM V2V (Virt to Virt) conversion KVM to and from VMWare

    Hi there
    The easiest way to achieve converting a Windows VM from (or to) KVM / VMWare is to forget about the VMWare's conversion software -- doesn't really work satisfactorily and takes forever to run is simply to do the following

    a) From KVM to VMWare (or even to a Real machine --then don't install VMWare tools if converting to a real machine).

    1) ensure you have an iso image of Macrium's recovery software .
    2) simply take an image of the windows VM from within the VM via Macrium free or similar.
    3) create a basic VM on Vmware - don't install the OS etc - simply create the virtual hard disk and virtual DVD drive pointing to the iso image of macriums' bootable recovery media.
    4) restore the image
    5) you will certainly then need to "Fix windows boot problems" so boot from the firmware via the VM menu to boot from the iso image.
    6) should be bootable -- now update drivers etc as required and of course install VMWare tools.

    Note if you have vmware player you'll need to add a line each time into the VMWare config file to get the VM to boot into the firmware (i.e setup)

    Another trap for the unwary -- if you want to set the VM as booting via UEFI) and the option is greyed out on VMWare WKS or you are on VMWare player then do it as per my very old post (still valid) here.

    This also shows the addition that VMWare player users can make to get the VM to boot into the firmware (setup) menu -- note also you have to do that each time you want to boot into the firmware when using VMWare player.

    VMWARE create EFI Virtual machine (solved)

    b) from VMWare to KVM

    steps 1) and 2) as above
    3) create your VM via the Virtual machine manager in KVM if using a GUI (can be done with CLI and XML but if you have the GUI use that as it's quite a nice interface and really easy to use). ensure Iso image is added as a CD ROM
    4) restore image
    steps 5) and 6) as above (but you won't need VMWare tools in the VM so no need to install it)

    You'll need to alter the networking for KVM -- to get full network access you will need to set to bridged networking and create a network bridge from a real NIC to the network bridge -- bridge-utils does that. Limitation here is you can't currently do this on a Wireless networking --in that case you'll have to stick with NAT which gives the VM internet access.

    Anyway have fun -- it's much quicker making VM's like this rather than creating from scratch for the different platforms if you want to try out different systems.

    This might also work for Virtual Box (VBOX) too but I haven't installed that. (As the old textbooks used to say "That's left as an exercise for our readers" !!). Could also work for VM's with HYPER-V --I might test the process later.

    Here's result -- Identical Windows 10 (build 331) on VMWare (converted from the KVM one) and QEMU / KVM running on Linux kernel 5.7.7 - You can run KVM Hypervisor and VMWare VM's concurrently BTW).

    Windows VM V2V (Virt to Virt) conversion KVM to and from VMWare-screenshot_20200703_123335.png

    The only difference was I renamed the VMWare one so as not to have 2 machines with the same netname on the Lan - the Windows machines end in HUNDUR the NAS machines are the other ones.

    The VMWare machine didn't even want / require re-activation.

    Last edited by jimbo45; 03 Jul 2020 at 05:42. Reason: Added screen shot of VMWare VM converted from KVM
      My Computer


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