Archive for the ‘VmWare’ Category

How To Shrink VMware Virtual Disk Files (.vmdk)


I’m using vmware-vdiskmanager with the -k switch to shrink disk files. The -k switch is supported on Windows hosts only, therefore I’m using Windows XP as the host and run VMware Server on it with a Debian VM. I got good shrink results with this constellation.

In a second step I’ve tried to shrink disk files on a Linux host (Ubuntu). vmware-vdiskmanagerdoesn’t support the -k switch on Linux, but I’ve tried the -d switch (defragment) instead and got good results as well, but I’m not guaranteeing that this will work for you as well.


Navigate to the directory where the .vmdk files are located, e.g.:
cd C:\Virtual Machines\apache2_mpm_itk_debian_etch

Try to find out where the vmware-vdiskmanager.exe program is located on your Windows system (mine is C:\Programme\VMware\VMware Server\vmware-vdiskmanager.exe), and how your .vmdk file is named (e.g. Other Linux 2.6.x kernel.vmdk). You can then shrink the .vmdk file as follows:

“C:\Programme\VMware\VMware Server\vmware-vdiskmanager.exe” -k “Other Linux 2.6.x kernel.vmdk”

That way I was able to shrink a .vmdk file from ~1.6GB to 1.3GB, and compressed (.zip) from ~430MB to 240MB.