Prepping Image for ESXi

I like using vboxmanage for disk conversions. When dealing with major formats it often can do everything I need. For example, if I wanted to convert raw disk image to .vmdk, it's easy:

vboxmanage convertdd in.raw --format VMDK out.vmdk

However, sometime this simple tool is too simple. For example, using that image with ESXi, any modern version will just give you "Not a supported disk format (sparse VMDK version too old)".

But it's not like vboxmanage is the only game in town. For example one can use qemu-img.

qemu-img convert -f raw -O vmdk in.raw out.vmdk

Different tool, same error.

For ESXi to work, we need to tweak options a bit.

qemu-img convert -f raw -O vmdk \
-o adapter_type=lsilogic,subformat=streamOptimized,compat6 \
in.raw out.vmdk

And this one does the trick.

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