Archive for April 6, 2013

Migrating OS X VMs to a VMware ESXi server

April 6, 2013 16 comments

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.

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