We are current running a Linux Server with VMWare 2 Server to host a few Windows virtual machines. I've found the web interface that VMWare 2 Server uses to manage these virtual machines to be, let's just say, less than reliable.

I'd like to convert this machine to Windows Server and use that to host the virtual machines (I'm more comfortable with a windows host than a linux host). How can I make this transition and not lose the current virtual machines? Are the vm files compatible or am I better off just to get the data off them and do complete re-installs?

1 Answer 1


If you are just changing the host OS and are still planning to use VMware Server, you should be able to move the VM files (vmx, vmdk, etc.) between the two hosts without a problem. If you're planning on using something other than VMware Server, there are some conversion utilities out there, although I cannot vouch for their usefulness.

  • The idea is to use VMWare Server, just in an environment I'm more familiar with. Also the web administration for VMWS2 doesn't work 90% of the time.
    – Aaron
    Nov 10, 2010 at 18:04
  • 1
    You should be fine in moving the VMs, then -- all you'll need to do is shut down the VMs and copy the files. I don't know what the nature of the problem with the web admin is, but I've used it on both Windows and Linux hosts without a problem, so it can probably be made to work if for some reason it's also broken on Windows.
    – hwilbanks
    Nov 10, 2010 at 20:01
  • Awesome, thanks for the confirmation. I'm not sure the nature of the problem either, but my knowledge of Linux limits me to my debugging options. Upvote for you will mark correct if/when I get a chance to try (might be a couple of weeks)
    – Aaron
    Nov 11, 2010 at 13:52
  • Second for hwilbanks. I've done this before without issue. Though it's not cross-OS, Jeff Atwood has even mentioned it on Coding Horror. Dec 1, 2010 at 23:43

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