After years of using VMWare, I suddenly had to migrate to VirtualBox; I’ve been using VirtualBox for quite some time now, but not in the way I use VMWare.
First I thought it will be a short-lived trip, but now I’m happily stuck. I still had the image of VBox the way it was in the version 1.x in the head. What a blow it was to fully explore 4.x, in my case 4.0.6!
After the upgrade of the system (in my case Ubuntu 10.10 to 11.04), VMWare 7.0.1 – as usual – refused to compile the kernel modules; I already before had to switch from 6.5.2, that worked for a long time very well for me, to 7.0.1, due to kernel update, as there didn’t seem to be any good cure. The same happened this time, but I had no time to look for the patch, I needed stuff done.
So, I just took the virtual machine and threw it in VBox. Without apparent success, may I say. But the success was just a few steps away.
First, I converted the original .vmdk 2GB-split disk image to the VBox’s native .vdi using
VBoxManage clonehd original.vmdk new.vdi --format VDI --variant Standard
This was fast and painless; tweak the command to your needs.
Then create a VBox virtual machine for the system, pretty much duplicating the settings from VMWare.
My original image was WinXP SP2; for the new disk to work, I had to switch the chipset (Machine -> Settings -> System) from default PIIX3 to ICH9. This got the disk to boot properly and got me to the system.
One annoying thing is, that you cannot uninstall VMWare Tools without having the machine running in the VMWare; deleting the folder under Program Files, and drivers (those that could be deleted) in Safe Mode, took care of that, at least it seems.
Then you can install the VBox’s Guest Additions.
Last minor catch was, that the network adapter didn’t seem to work; it seems like both VMWare and VBox use the AMD PCNet driver to simulate the network adapter; fix was trivial – go to Device Manager, select “Update Driver” for the network adapter, and manually select the appropriate driver – the one that doesn’t say “VMWare”.
Last word – how fast the resume/suspend works on VBox! Why is VMWare so slow on this?