I've just configured the passthrough on my ubuntu / I9 9900k / nvidia geforce RTX 2080 ti machine. Now I'm converting the VMware virtual machine VMDK files (created from the conversion of a physical installation of Windows 10) into one big qcow2 file with the following command :

mario@ziomario-Z390-AORUS-PRO:/media/ziomario/DATI/DiscoC/DESKTOP-N9UN2H3# qemu-img convert -f vmdk DESKTOP-N9UN2H3*.vmdk -O qcow2 /media/ziomario/WIN/DiscoC/DESKTOP-N9UN2H3/QCOW2/DESKTOP-N9UN2H3.qcow2

The physical installation of Windows 10 has a size of 300 GB. The VMDK files produced by the conversion did with vCenter Converter have a size of 558 GB. I don't know what could be the final size of the converted qcow2 file. What I know is that I tried to save it in a disk of 1 TB and it became full. I would like to know if there is a way to convert more than one VMDK file into a qcow2 or img file (these are the formats accepted by qemu/kvm virt-manager) that will have almost the same size of the original ones. thanks.

  • 1
    does qemu no longer support vmdk images directly?
    – user313992
    Commented Oct 9, 2019 at 19:13
  • I don't see this format in the virt-manager...
    – Marietto
    Commented Oct 10, 2019 at 0:07
  • qemu-img and qemu are built off the same code base. qemu with vmdk images did work for me in the past. I don't like virt-manager and only used it when having to fix other people's issues.
    – user313992
    Commented Oct 10, 2019 at 4:44

1 Answer 1


Virt-manager has a nice GUI, but as said in the comment above they have also some odd idiot ball here and there (possibly due to their RHEL-centrism, which is why vmdk isn't an option anymore despite the backend supporting it).

So, assuming the point of your question was getting the "VMDK content" to work with it, I'm going to answer you that you don't need a conversion at all. And contrarily to much outdated info in the web, split and sparse images are supported too.

You just need to open the Host Storage dialog (either at VM creation time by selecting import existing disk image, or from the storage options of an existing VM), then add your VMDK like you would do normally.

It will be autodetected as a raw file disk, which you will need to adjust in the XML with: <driver name="qemu" type="vmdk"/>. And profit.

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