Ticket #680 (new enhancement)

Opened 7 years ago

Last modified 4 years ago

Import/export VM

Reported by: Vincent Bernat Owned by:
Priority: major Component: other
Version: VirtualBox 1.5.0 Keywords: export migrate move
Cc: Guest type: other
Host type: other


Hi !

I prepare my VMs on my workstation and would like to transfer them on my laptop when I am outside. But I don't have enough place on my laptop to have all my virtual machines. A great feature would be to be able to export a VM and to import it on another machine. A VM includes:

  • disks
  • configuration
  • snapshots

I have tried to copy files by hand and to use VBoxManage registervm, but I get messed up with UUID (and then, cannot import the VM). The only solution is then to remove snapshots, copy VDI and then create a new machine. Losing snapshot is a pain.

Change History

comment:1 Changed 6 years ago by markba

Due to this problem, this (creating a new vm) is my standard method when transporting VM's. Coming from VMware where nothing has to be registered (recreating an id on vm startup), this is a hassle. I understand that registration has some benefits, but is should me made easier.

comment:2 Changed 6 years ago by virtyb

I find this a very important feature. Using VMs you want to be able to quickly move images from one machine to another, to do re-distribution of workload between different servers. With VMWare (with specific hardware setup) you can change from one machine to another online, without interruption of execution or network connections. I don't exactly need this, but it should be a lot easier to move from one station to another.

comment:3 Changed 6 years ago by michael

This is in progress, but with a low priority, so I can't give any time frame for it.

comment:4 Changed 6 years ago by arny

I agree this feature would be useful, this scheme can cause much grief. Several examples of problems I had:

  • Dual boot Windows/Linux
  • Multiuser setup with VM sharing
  • Using a VM on a laptop and a desktop

comment:5 Changed 5 years ago by akromic

I'd find this feature very useful, especially that I often use vbox on several different computers; also under different users on a same computer. This can be quite hard and confusing sometimes.

comment:6 Changed 5 years ago by kookyman

Agreed. This definitely needs to be worked on. Today, I successfully managed to bring in a pre-existing VM (I added the UUID manually to the config files). The only problem I had was needing to modify the VM to remove the UUID of the CD Image (doesn't exist on this machine, couldn't deselect it since the VM was in an 'Unavailable' state so was locked down from GUI based changes, and I needed to release and relink the HD image.). Otherwise it worked, so it is possible. If you "add" a VM File, there is no reason that VirtualBox can't do a quick check for the HD Images/CD Images, if the associated UUIDs are not available then just clear the drives. Its not that hard to Re-add/Re-mate the drives. And that to me is the only unworkable part right now. I'm sure there is more to importing/exporting, but even functionality at this level would be a significant improvement.

comment:7 Changed 5 years ago by schmoemi

It's a pity, really, virtualbox doesn't support that. Otherwise it could be a serious free alternative to VMware Workstation.

comment:8 follow-up: ↓ 9 Changed 5 years ago by sandervl73

Already possible since 2.2.0. Not including snapshots, but that will come later.

comment:9 in reply to: ↑ 8 Changed 5 years ago by schmoemi

Replying to sandervl73:

Already possible since 2.2.0. Not including snapshots, but that will come later.

You mean this .OVF-Stuff?

comment:10 Changed 5 years ago by frank


comment:11 Changed 5 years ago by schmoemi

Ok that's a first step towards ;-)

comment:12 Changed 4 years ago by mduft

any progress on this? i'd really need this for my daily use (the one preserving snapshots ;)).

comment:13 Changed 4 years ago by astubbs

You can't watch or vote for a ticket?

comment:14 Changed 4 years ago by frank

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