Move Virtual Machines from XEN to VMware

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Move Virtual Machines from XEN to VMware.

My client has asked me to move the virtual machines from his old XEN infrastructure to a new VMware infrastructure.

I decided to export the XEN virtual machine to VMDK format that could be exported to VMware.

First connect to XenCenter with root account. You need admin rights to run the export wizard.


Shut down the server you want to export.


When the VM is off, right click then click export. It will run the XenCenter Export wizard.


Choice a name, a location to save the file, and the file format. Here I’m exporting the VM to an OVF package.


Click Next on the “Confirm which VMs to include in the OVF/PVA package” screen.

Click Next on the “Optionally, include EULAs in the OVF/OVA package” screen.

Click Next on the “Select the manifest, signing and the output file format options you want” screen.

Leave the default options on the “Configure networking options for the Transfer VM” screen then click Next.

Review the export settings then click Finish.


Wait for the file to be exported. The operation could take some time (depending on the size of the VM).

When the operation is over, you get these 2 files. A VHD file and an OVF file.


Now I can convert the VHD file to VMDK using StarWind V2V Image Converter. You can download the tool for free here

Download the tool and install it on your computer for instance.

Run the tool and choice local file for Source image location then click Next.


Browse and choice the VHD file you exported from the XEN server then click Next.


Choice VMware direct conversion to ESXi for Destination image format then click Next.


Enter the IP address, User name, and the Password for a ESXi host then click Next.


Choice a destination folder, then click Next.


Click finish and wait for the conversion.

Once the conversion is complete, connect to your VMware host and check the folder.


We have our vmdk file. Now we create a new VM and use the vmdk file as datastore.

Create a new VM, select custom. Then click Next.


And when you are at the “select disk” page, select “use an existing virtual disk. Then click Next.


On the “select existing disk” screen, browse and select the vmdk file you just imported.


Review the configuration then click finish.


Start the VM and check everything.



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