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  • 1.  Exporting Fusion .vmwarevm package to Workstation

    Posted Feb 03, 2019 10:12 PM

    I wonder what is the optimal way for backing up .vmwarevm package made using Fusing with a virt. machine stored inside to import it from within VmWare Workstation or Player should this  be necessary one day?

    Currently we backup .vmwaresvm package generated by Fusion (virtual machine inside) to sparse bundle formatted inside to GPT and HFS+. This should ensure package container folder is backed up with all its internal items without any change. Maybe today or one day in future the package container format uses mac OS or latter's file system proprietary facilities. Those could get lost when backing up to non-Apple file system. Furthermore sparse-bundle images can be stored to mass storage formatted to one of lot of choices.

    However if if one day it is necessary to recover virtual machines generated and backed up in the way as described above it will be hard to import them (or just .vmdk's) from within Workstation or VmWare Player which run under Windows.

    Certain selection of utilities to read-access HFS+/APFS formatted volumes from Windows seem to exist (inclusively those commercial offers but for reasonable price). However opening sparse bundles can be hard.

    In case of VirtualBox the situation is not that level of complication - mac OS package container format does not seem to be used. All is regular file zero containerization/packaging at file-system level.

  • 2.  RE: Exporting Fusion .vmwarevm package to Workstation

    Posted Feb 04, 2019 12:32 AM


    The Fusion virtual machine bundle is not using any file system specific features that are problematic for restoring on another platform such as VMware Workstation.

    It is also unlikely for VMware to start depend on such a file system specific feature as it would mean problems for their own cross platform approach.

    You can bring your Fusion VM to Workstation or even vSphere and provided you use the correct virtual disk format it will mostly just work.

    FWIW, the virtual machine backup program I developed (Vimalin see my signature for more info) does offer your request as a feature.

    You can restore a Fusion VM on VMware Workstation Professional as you can import backups made by either product and Vimalin will handle the restore.

    Oh I forgot, the easiest way to do this is not by reading directly from an attached disk and file system but by using network shares.

    Nowadays macOS can read/write quite well on SMB network shares. If you're uncomfortable by that then you can present a share both as NFS for macOS and as SMB for Windows.

    Hope this helps,



  • 3.  RE: Exporting Fusion .vmwarevm package to Workstation

    Posted Mar 03, 2019 02:08 PM

    Thank you for all input given in this thread.

    Yes, backing up to network share and to external drive is the dimension of redundancy used here.

  • 4.  RE: Exporting Fusion .vmwarevm package to Workstation

    Posted Mar 03, 2019 03:08 PM


    You are welcome.

    If you have more questions then just ask and me or somebody else will try to answer them.

    PS: I only now noticed your forum user name and must say I like it! :smileywink:



  • 5.  RE: Exporting Fusion .vmwarevm package to Workstation

    Posted Feb 04, 2019 05:42 PM

    Just to expand on Wila's comments, there's no mac-specific formatting at all.  You just end up with a folder with an extension if you copy the bundle to an external drive (exfat formatted for example) and then plug that into a windows box.  In fact, you can remove the .vmwarevm extension and just hold the files in a folder on OSX as well (not recommended though, the extension keeps things tidy.  There's no real need to do anything with sparsebundles to back up the VM.

    The only caveats are 1) that if it's an OSX guest, it'll only work on Apple hardware, and 2) make sure that the VM is shut down, not suspended, before backing it up and/or trying to open it in Workstation.  Likewise, deleting any snapshots that were made while the VM is running is also necessary.