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Title: Vmdk  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: VHD (file format), Disk images, VirtualBox, VMware, Sun xVM
Collection: Computer File Formats, Disk Images, Filename Extensions, Vmware
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia


Virtual Machine Disk Format
Filename extension .vmdk
Developed by VMware
Type of format Disk image file

VMDK (Virtual Machine Disk) is a file format that describes containers for virtual hard disk drives to be used in virtual machines like VMware Workstation or VirtualBox.

Initially developed by VMware for its virtual appliance products, VMDK is now an open format[1] and is one of the disk formats used in the Open Virtualization Format for virtual appliances.

The maximum VMDK size is generally 2TB for most applications, but in September 2013, VMware vSphere 5.5 introduced 62TB VMDK capacity.


  • Uses 1
  • Virtual Disk Provisioning Options 2
  • See also 3
  • References 4
  • External links 5


Products that use the VMDK format as the native file format include:

Third-party products with VMDK support include:

  • Parallels Desktop: Version 10 supports VMDK format[2]
  • Sun xVM: natively supports VMDK format[3]
  • QEMU: natively supports VMDK format and provides the qemu-img utility to convert VMDK images to a number of different formats
  • VirtualBox (part of the Oracle VM suite) also supports VMDK files[4]
  • SUSE Studio: builds virtual appliances using the VMDK format, among others
  • Norton GHOST: Hard drive imaging software
  • ILookIX: Computer forensic examination suite

Software libraries with VMDK support include:

Virtual Disk Provisioning Options

  • thin: Blocks are not allocated or zeroed during initial provisioning. Block allocation and zeroing is performed at first access.
  • zeroedthick: Blocks are allocated during initial provisioning but are not zeroed until first access.
  • eagerzeroedthick: Blocks are allocated and zeroed during initial provisioning.

See also


  1. ^
  2. ^ Parallels Announces Parallels Desktop® 10 for Mac
  3. ^ Sun xVM Virtualization Portfolio: Virtualizing the Dynamic Datacenter
  4. ^ VirtualBox Manual - Virtual Storage

External links

  • VMDK at

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