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How can I convert an amazon ami image to a vmware image I can run locally in vmware player?

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If you still have access to the instance, I believe the simplest way would be using "dd" to copy it off to a raw file (possibly just directly piping over SSH to the destination system like in ssh your.ec2-syst.em 'dd if=/dev/sdh bs=1M | gzip' | gunzip | dd of=/tmp/ec2-image.raw) and then using something like qemu-img to convert the raw image to a VMDK file.

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Yep. This is the only way to do it. – Tom O'Connor Oct 9 '11 at 19:30
Any recommended articles, blogs that shows how to use qemu-img to create VMDK file that runs in VMware player? – joshjdevl Oct 9 '11 at 21:45
Umm. qemu-img convert -f raw -O vmdk /tmp/ec2-image.raw /tmp/ec2-image.vmdk. Maybe the QEMU wikibook could be of some further help, if you still are having problems. – the-wabbit Oct 10 '11 at 12:51

These instructions are ok to mount it locally, but not to RUN it locally. This is much more hard to achieve. This post seems to show a way to do this, even if grub instructions are not very clear to a novice as I am.

The author of this other post is much more skeptic about the ease to do this process and suggest to build up the server from scratch.

This post clarifies step by step how to mount the AMI locally, but doesn't solve the booting issues.

Hope this helps!

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