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How to shrink VMware vmdk files

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This guide shows how you can shrink the virtual disk files (they have the extension .vmdk) of your VMware virtual machines so that if you zip them, they will use much less space. It is then easier to upload and share them with other people.

(This article describes two approaches, one for Windows hosts and another for Linux hosts. -Ed.)
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-vdiskmanager doesn'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.
 read more | mail this link | score:7887 | -falko, August 29, 2008
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