Mounting VMDK disk image

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I have a single vmware disk image file with vmdk extension

I am trying to mount this and explore all of the partitions (including hidden ones).

I've tried to follow several guides, such as :

I'm able to mount the image using vdfuse

vdfuse -w -f windows.vmdk /mnt/

After this I can see one partition and an entire disk exposed

# ll /mnt/
total 41942016
-r-------- 1 te users 21474836480 Feb 28 14:16 EntireDisk
-r-------- 1 te users  1569718272 Feb 28 14:16 Partition1

Continuing with the guide I try to mount either EntireDisk or Partition1 using

mount -o loop,ro /mnt/Partition1 mnt2/

But that gives me the error 'mount: you must specify a filesystem type'

In trying to find the correct type I tried

dd if=/mnt/EntireDisk | file -
which outputs a ton of information but of note is:
/dev/stdin: x86 boot sector; partition 1: ....... FATs ....

So i tired to mount as a vfat but that gave me

mount: wrong fs type, bad option, bad superblock ...etc

What am I doing wrong?

How to Extract Content from VMDK Files: A Step-By-Step Guide, How to mount a VMDK file as a virtual disk to a healthy VM on VMware ESXi, Mounting VMDK files in a host OS with VMware Workstation. Install affuse, then mount using it. affuse /path/file.vmdk /mnt/vmdk The raw diskimage is now found under /mnt/vmdk. Check its sector size. fdisk -l /mnt/vmdk/file.vmdk.raw # example Disk file.vmdk.raw: 20 GiB, 21474836480 bytes, 41943040 sectors Units: sectors of 1 * 512 = 512 bytes Sector size (logical/physical): 512 bytes / 512 bytes I/O size (minimum/optimal): 512 bytes / 512 bytes

You can also use qemu:

For .vdi disks
sudo modprobe nbd
sudo qemu-nbd -c /dev/nbd1 ./linux_box/VM/image.vdi

if they are not installed, you can install them (issuing this command in Ubuntu)

sudo apt install qemu-utils

and then mount it with:

mount /dev/nbd1p1 /mnt
For .vmdk disks
sudo modprobe nbd
sudo qemu-nbd -r -c /dev/nbd1 ./linux_box/VM/image.vmdk

notice that I use the option -r, that's because VMDK version 3 must be read only to be able to be mounted by qemu

and then I mount it with

mount /dev/nbd1p1 /mnt

I use nbd1, because nbd0 sometimes gives: 'mount: special device /dev/nbd0p1 does not exist'

For .ova disks
tar -tf image.ova
tar -xvf image.ova

The above will extract the .vmdk disk and then mount it.

Mount VMWare Disk Images Under Linux, You can also use qemu: For .vdi. sudo modprobe nbd sudo qemu-nbd -c /dev/​nbd1 ./linux_box/VM/image.vdi. if they are not installe you can install them (on  The Mount-DiskImage cmdlet mounts a previously created disk image (virtual hard disk or ISO), making it appear as a normal disk. This cmdlet requires the full path of the VHD or ISO file. If the file is already mounted, then the cmdlet will display the following error.

Install affuse, then mount using it.

affuse /path/file.vmdk /mnt/vmdk

The raw diskimage is now found under /mnt/vmdk. Check its sector size

fdisk -l /mnt/vmdk/file.vmdk.raw

# example

Disk file.vmdk.raw: 20 GiB, 21474836480 bytes, 41943040 sectors
Units: sectors of 1 * 512 = 512 bytes
Sector size (logical/physical): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
I/O size (minimum/optimal): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
Disklabel type: dos
Disk identifier: 0x000da525

Device       Boot Start      End  Sectors Size Id Type
/mnt/vmdk/file.vmdk.raw1 *     2048 41943039 41940992  20G 83 Linux

Multiply sectorsize and startsector. In example it would be 2048*512

echo 2048*512 | bc

Mount using that offset

mount -o ro,loop,offset=1048576 /mnt/vmdk/file.raw /mnt/vmdisk

Disk should now be mounted and readable on /mnt/vmdisk

How to mount a virtual hard disk?, Linux and other Unix-like hosts can mount images created with the raw fdisk -l /​mnt/vmdk/file.vmdk.raw # example Disk file.vmdk.raw: 20 GiB,  Mount and browse file from VMDK file. VMware vSphere virtual machine has its virtual disk in VMDK format. We can’t mount it by directly right click on the VMDK file but we can open Windows Explorer -> right click on This PC-> select Map Virtual Drive -> browse to the folder where we keep the VMDK file and select OK. As the result, the VMDK

I found and answer from quite nice:

kpartx -av <image-flat.vmdk>; mount -o /dev/mapper/loop0p1 /mnt/vmdk

You can also activate LVM volumes in the image by running

vgchange -a y

and then you can mount the LV inside the image.

To unmount the image, umount the partition/LV, deactivate the VG for the image

vgchange -a n <volume_group>

then run

kpartx -dv <image-flad.vmdk>

to remove the partition mappings.

Mount a VMware virtual disk (.vmdk) file on a Linux box Using mount, This works for all types of images (dd of hard drives, img, etc) not just vmkd. You can also activate LVM volumes in the image by running  Mounting the disk as a read-write volume Just add the VMDK to another ESXi VM. Well, that may sound a bit trivial, but why you just don’t connect the VMDK to the healthy VM? Connecting the disk to another VM, for my money, is the easiest and the most reliable way to get your data.

Have you got the software package for ntfs?


apt-get install ntfs-3g

on debian based systems.

How to Extract Content from VMDK Files, A Windows VMDK is easily mounted and mapped as a drive using Once you've installed it, select Mount Image option from the Drives menu. This container for virtual HDDs needs a utility that can mount the disk images to the desired drives. VMWare Disk Image Mount Disk Image VMDK Image VMWare Disk Image Mount VMDK.

Map or Mount a Virtual Disk to a Drive on the Host System, vmdk) files on the virtual disk are not compressed and do not have read-only permissions. □. On a Windows host, verify that the volume is formatted with FAT (​12/  Where -r is to mount the image read-only, -m is the internal partition you want to mount, and /mnt/point is a directory on the host filesystem that you want to mount the internal partition to. Here we see home and root directories that contain the btrfs home and root subvolumes.

How can i access the files in a vmdk file?, Mount the vmware disk file to nbd . sudo qemu-nbd -r -c /dev/nbd1 ./path/to/vmfile​.vmdk. Then mount it to  How to Mount or Unmount VHD and VHDX File in Windows 10 VHD (Virtual Hard Disk) is a file format which represents a virtual hard disk drive (HDD). It may contain what is found on a physical HDD, such as disk partitions and a file system, which in turn can contain files and folders.

Mounting ESX/ESXi Server Disks or VMDK files| DiskInternals, vmdk (or other type) files to mount. Note: the ESX server does not normally permit low-level disk access to a running virtual machine. With VMFS Recovery, you  Right-click an ISO file and select the “Mount” option. Select the file in File Explorer and and click the “Mount” button under the “Disk Image Tools” tab on the ribbon. Once you’ve mounted the disc image, you’ll see it appear as a new drive under This PC.

  • Did you try ntfs? Did you try fdisk /mnt/EntireDisk or gparted /mnt/EntireDisk and looking at the partitions there? Do they show up correctly?
  • fdisk returned: 'WARNING: GPT detected on '...'. The util fdisk doesnt support GPT'. gparted is able to show me there are 4 partitions but all fail to initalize. It lists several required packages for ntfs and fat32 that i might need so I'll install those and see if it gets me anything
  • Try installing ntfs-3g
  • Also, you might want to move this question over to, I bet you would get more help there as this isn't really a software dev or computer science question.
  • That's very helpful. Anyway, I had to use sudo and get to the directory as root to made this work.
  • Additional info about mounting archives and virtual drives:…
  • No need in manual calculation: just use offset=$((2048*512))
  • @AntonioPetricca If you say something does not work, you may also provide details on what exactly did not work. Like posting an error message or explaining what exactly is wrong. That would greatly increase value of the comment.
  • Sorry! KPARTX says that the VMDK file format is not recognized.
  • This is for ESX's "someimage-flat.vmdk" format, where it works as described.
  • What does the OP's problem have to do with NFS? Did you mean ntfs? An NTFS package would be something like ntfs-3g.
  • @voidlogic Sorry I've understood your question wrong and SO keeps giving me a prompt of read-only mode. Have you try to mount the vmdk file by vmware-mount, which can be extracted from the VMware-Workstation.