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 Chapter 7. Converting between image formats

Converting images from one format to another is generally straightforward.

 qemu-img convert: raw, qcow2, QED, VDI, VMDK, VHD

The qemu-img convert command can do conversion between multiple formats, including qcow2, QED, raw, VDI (VirtualBox), VHD (Hyper-V), and VMDK (VMware).

Table 7.1. qemu-img format strings
Image format Argument to qemu-img
qcow2 (KVM, Xen) qcow2
QED (KVM) qed
raw raw
VDI (VirtualBox) vdi
VHD (Hyper-V) vpc
VMDK (VMware) vmdk

This example will convert a raw image file named centos7.img to a qcow2 image file.

$ qemu-img convert -f raw -O qcow2 centos7.img centos7.qcow2

Run the following command to convert a VMDK image file to a raw image file.

$ qemu-img convert -f vmdk -O raw centos7.vmdk centos7.img

Run the following command to convert a VMDK image file to a qcow2 image file.

$ qemu-img convert -f vmdk -O raw centos7.vmdk centos7.qcow2

[Note]Note

The -f format flag is optional. If omitted, qemu-img will try to infer the image format.

 VBoxManage: VDI (VirtualBox) to raw

If you've created a VDI image using VirtualBox, you can convert it to raw format using the VBoxManage command-line tool that ships with VirtualBox. On Mac OS X, and Linux, VirtualBox stores images by default in the ~/VirtualBox VMs/ directory. The following example creates a raw image in the current directory from a VirtualBox VDI image.

$ VBoxManage clonehd ~/VirtualBox\ VMs/fedora21.vdi fedora21.img --format raw
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