Vinchin Blog How to Migrate VMware VM to Proxmox?

How to Migrate VMware VM to Proxmox?

2024-02-05 | Dan Zeng

Table of contents
  • VMware vs Proxmox
  • How to migrate VMware VM to Proxmox?
  • How to migrate VM from VMware to Proxmox with Vinchin Backup & Recovery?
  • FAQ
  • Conclusion
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With the continuous development of virtualization technology, more and more people need to migrate their existing VMware virtual machines to Proxmox virtualization platform smoothly. This article describes how to perform this VMware Proxmox migration process successfully.

VMware vs Proxmox









VMware's commercial offerings typically involve higher license fees and are intended for large enterprises and users with a need for advanced features.

Proxmox, as an open source project, can be used without direct license fees, so it may be more affordable for small businesses and individual users.


Virtualization Technology

VMware uses its own virtualization technologies such as vSphere Hypervisor and ESXi.

Proxmox uses KVM (Kernel-based Virtual Machine) as the virtualization technology, which is part of the Linux kernel and also supports container virtualization.



Management Interface

vSphere provides a powerful web management interface with an intuitive user experience for large and complex virtualized environments.

Proxmox VE also provides a Web management interface with an intuitive design for small and medium-sized virtualization environments. Users can easily manage virtual machines, storage and network settings through the web interface.

How to migrate VMware VM to Proxmox?

To migrate VM from VMware to Proxmox, following these steps:

Step1. Enable SSH on VMware ESXi

In vSphere Client, hit host > click Configure > choose Services > click SSH > hit START


Step 2. Find the VM storage path

The sample is VM 99, and since VM99 is stored in vSphere's FCD-DPT, you can see its path directly.

Click Storage > choose FC-DPT > hit Summary > get its path


Step 3. Use WinSCP to connect to the host IP of the VM

1. Using WinSCP to connect to the host IP where the VM is located > hit terminal > type the following command > hit Execute

cd /vmfs/volumes/636b5c77-974fab32-2048-bc169506deba/

cd: Perform path switching

Storage path: /vmfs/volumes/636b5c77-974fab32-2048-bc169506deba/


2. Switch to the VM 99 path and enter the following script > click Execute

cd 99/

Make sure you can see the 99.vmdk file. Next, you can export the VM using the appropriate command.


Step 4. Create Proxmox VM

During the process of creating a Proxmox virtual machine, make sure you select the correct BIOS settings and hard disk drive type. Typically, you should select OVMF (UEFI) as the BIOS setting and set the hard disk drive type to SATA. The following are detailed step-by-step instructions:

1. In System, adjust the BIOS settings to UEFI (usually OVMF (UEFI) is selected)


2. In Disks, select Device Type as SATA


Step 5. Use SCP for file transfer in Proxmox

1. Usually a virtual disk will have two files: .vmdk and -flat.vmdk. These two files must be copied together to the target path of Proxmox. In Proxmox, hit Shell > type the following command:

scp -v <source> <destination>
scp -v root@ /var/lib/vz/
scp -v root@ /var/lib/vz/

<source> is the path to the source file: root@ /var/lib/vz/

<destination> is the destination path:/var/lib/vz/

This command will copy the file from the remote machine (172.xxxxx) located at the path /vmfs/volumes/636b5c77-974fab32-2048-bc169506deba/99/99.vmdk to the local Proxmox machine at the path /var/lib/vz/.


Step 6. Import the VMDK Disk

1. Type the command:

qm importdisk 117 /var/lib/vz/99.vmdk Proxmox_NFS

You can see that it has been successfully imported.


2. The converted vmdk disk will be automatically displayed as Unused Disk in the Proxmox VE.

Now, click the VM > hit Hardware > click Unused Disk 0 > choose Edit and make sure the bus/device is also SATA


3. Click Options > double-click Boot Order > move newly attached disk at first > enabled it > hit OK


Step 7. Start the VM

Now you can start the VM in Proxmox VE to check whether it is migrated successfully

Click the VM > hit Console > click Start Now


How to migrate VM from VMware to Proxmox with Vinchin Backup & Recovery?

Vinchin Backup & Recovery stands out as a professional data protection solution crafted to facilitate organizations in achieving dependable backup and swift Proxmox VMware migration within VM environments.

Supporting various virtualization platforms such as Proxmox, VMware, Hyper-V, Citrix XenServer, and more, Vinchin offers a versatile range of backup policy settings, catering to diverse data protection requirements.

In addition, Vinchin delivers an intuitive and user-friendly management interface, coupled with robust data protection and disaster recovery capabilities. Whether grappling with hardware failures, data loss, or unforeseen catastrophes, Vinchin empowers users to swiftly restore their VM environment, ensuring the continuity of stable business operations.

When it comes to migrate VMware VM to Proxmox, the process is simplified—eliminating the need for intricate conversion tasks. Users can effortlessly select the VM backup and restore it onto the new host, streamlining the migration experience.

1. Just select the backup of VMware VM > click Next

2. Select the Proxmox host as the target host > click Next

3. Select Once-off Restore > click Next

4. Submit the job

Vinchin offers users a 60-day free trial to try it out in a real-world environment. For more information, please contact Vinchin directly, or contact our local partners.


Q:Why should you migrate from VMware to Proxmox?

A: Proxmox provides a free open source virtualization platform with KVM and Container (LXC) support, which is more affordable compared to VMware.Proxmox also provides a powerful web interface that is easy to use.

Q: Will data be lost during the migration process?

A: Migration processes inherently carry some risk. It's crucial to back up essential data before initiating migration. After completing the migration, conduct tests to ensure the proper functioning of VMs and verify the integrity of the data. For additional peace of mind, consider using third-party backup software like Vinchin to back up your VMs.


In conclusion, migrating VMware VMs to Proxmox can be achieved successfully by following a series of steps. Proxmox provides a cost-effective alternative to VMware, with its open-source nature and support for KVM virtualization. Tools like WinSCP can be used for file transfer, and Vinchin Backup & Recovery offers a streamlined solution for VM migration.

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Categories: How-to Guides VMware Proxmox Server Backup General