Exporting virtual machines from VMware Workstation to ESX/ESXi

Exporting virtual machines from VMware Workstation to ESX/ESXi (1012258)


This article provides steps to export a virtual machine from Workstation to an ESX/ESXi host.


Workstation provides the ability to export virtual machines for use in other software through the Import/Export feature.

Note: Windows 7 is not supported for export in older version of VMware Workstation. To bring a Windows 7 virtual machine from Workstation to ESX/ESXi, see Migrating a Windows 7 Workstation virtual machine to vSphere (1022152).


  • If the virtual machine is being copied to ESX/ESXi, but the original virtual machine is still going to be used in Workstation, make sure not to deploy the new virtual machine with customization. This changes the MAC address and SIDs so that the new and old virtual machines can run simultaneously without conflict. For more information on deploying with customization, see Customize Windows During Cloning or Deployment in the vSphere Basic System Administration Guide.
  • You must have network access to the ESX/ESXi or vCenter Server from the machine running Workstation.
  • You must have the ports for the management server console and HTTPS ((902 and 443, respectively) open to the ESX/ESXi host from the Workstation host machine.
  • You need to have a valid login to the ESX/ESXi host or vCenter Server.
  • Snapshots cause the conversion to take longer. This additional time can be significant if the snapshots are large or have existed forseveral days or more.
  • If you are not able to connect to vCenter Server or ESX/ESXi hosts, replace the hostname with IP address.

To export an existing virtual machine:

Note: To export a Workstation 8 virtual machine to ESX/ESXi, it must be converted using the VMware vCenter Converter Standalone application.

  1. Shut down the virtual machine and close its tab in the Workstation interface.
  2. Go to File > Import or Export.
  3. In the wizard, set the type of source to Other.
  4. Input the path to the virtual machine’s .vmx configuration file. The path looks similar to:

    C:\Users\Your Name\Documents\Virtual Machines\My VM\My VM.vmx

  5. You can leave the disks the same size that they are, or reduce or increase the space as needed.
  6. Choose VMware Infrastructure Virtual Machine as the destination type.
  7. Provide the ESX/ESXi host name and login information.
  8. Choose the appropriate settings for datastore, network, virtual machine name, etc.
  9. Under Step 3: Customization, make sure to install VMware Tools so that the virtual machine works as expected when running on an ESX/ESXi host.
  10. Click Finish.

    This process creates a clone of the Workstation virtual machine on the ESX/ESXi host.

Workstation 8.x, 9.x and 10.x

To export machines to ESX/ESXi on Workstation 8.x, 9.x and 10.x, you can also use the File > Connect to Server option. For more information, see Upload a Virtual Machine to a Remote Server

Source: http://kb.vmware.com/selfservice/microsites/search.do?language=en_US&cmd=displayKC&externalId=1012258

By vichhaiy Posted in SNA

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