Since the process I developed is ultimately about getting the OS X VM’s vmdm file up to the ESXi server, then building a new VM on the ESXi server to use that vmdk file, this is an easier technique because it allows us to skip using VMware Standalone Converter altogether. Instead, this procedure will use the vmware-vdiskmanager tool included with VMware Fusion and the VMware vSphere Client application. See below the jump for details.
I’ve started using ESXi servers more and more for hosting my test Macs, both here and at work. As part of that, I’ve found it to be considerably easier for me to build the VM inside of VMware Fusion on my Mac and move it to ESXi, then build it from scratch on my ESXi server.
That said, I’ve found the process for moving OS X VMs has not been straightforward. When I first tried moving 10.8.x VMs, I tried both VMware’s OVF Tool and VMware’s Standalone Converter, but neither initially appeared to provide me with the ability to transfer working OS X 10.8.x VMs.
In the end, I was able to find a way to use VMware’s Standalone Converter to transfer 10.8.x VMs, but the process involves some extra steps on the ESXi server’s end.
The process I’ve developed involves using a Windows 7 VM running inside of VMware Fusion, with the VMware Standalone Converter application installed. One thing to note before proceeding further is that I did not try this with a vSphere server. All my work has been done with VMware’s free ESXi server, so it may be that there’s an easier way to do this with vSphere. See below the jump for details.
One thing I’ve wanted to do for a while is virtualizing my home server setup, as well as making it easier to stand up (and take down) test servers as needed.
I’ve been doing a lot of work with VMWare Fusion on my Mac and could have gone that way, but I wanted to do the virtualization with VMWare’s free ESXi software. I hadn’t previously set up a dedicated hypervisor, so I wanted to learn how to do that.
I have a 2011 Mac Mini Server, which is fortunate because setting up ESXi on that Mini model has been well-documented in a number of places. The latest available version as of this date is ESXi 5.1, so I decided to install that. After some work, I now have ESX 5.1 running on my Mini Server. See below the jump for the details.