I created a 60 GB raw disk using qemu-img convert, and qemu-img info confirms it is a raw file format. It worked fine in KVM. When I go in ESXi to create a new VM from existing virtual disk, and browse to the disk in the datastore, it is not visible (using the compatible disk mask that VMWare uses .vmdk,.raw, etc). ESXi claims to support raw file format for virtual disks, what gives?

  • What vmware call raw file format may not be what you have in mind (maybe you are referring to RDM or raw device. If you can list the document that claims the support, I can help you clarify it. here is all that vmware supports: kb.vmware.com/selfservice/microsites/…
    – johnshen64
    Aug 19 '13 at 14:25
  • That list shows RDM and raw device as 2 separate entries. I assume that RDM is a raw storage format, like a LUN and raw is a raw disk like the one I am talking about.
    – user160910
    Aug 19 '13 at 14:39
  • The reason I think so is that the drop down for acceptable file formats includes .raw. I don't think RDM uses *.raw as a convention.
    – user160910
    Aug 19 '13 at 14:48

In that case, you are trying to access a raw disk (raw device, not raw device file), not a raw disk file as qemu calls it. Confusing terminology, I guess. Take a look at this: http://kb.vmware.com/selfservice/microsites/search.do?language=en_US&cmd=displayKC&externalId=995

Still it is not what you are looking for, most likely, but I am not sure esxi suports the actual raw disk file as used in kvm etc. You can try to convert these to vmdk with qemu-img however.

  • It turns out it doesn't recognize raw files, their documentation is very misleading. I had to convert to vmdk.
    – user160910
    Aug 23 '13 at 15:51

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