VMWare: Shrink image even though it’s a snapshot

I needed to shrink a vmware image to save space but it wasn’t possible because it wasn’t an independent disk but a snapshot (rhel3_ws_u4-000001.vmdk etc.) dependant upon the original disk (rhel3_ws_u4-s001.vmdk etc). The steps were:

  1. Join the snapshot and the parent disk into one: use the free VMWare Converter (see vmware.com) – perform transformation (import+export) from a standalone virt. machine to an stanalone virt. machine; it’s necessary to import all the disk, preserving its size (by selecting “select volumes and resize…” I got an unbootable disk); than check “Create a full clone” and “Allow virtual disk files to grow” (don’t pre-allocate space!!!).
  2. Shrink: After the successfull conversion run the system and verify that the disk is of the type independant-persistent and perhaps disable snapshots). Iinstall there vmware tools (from the vmware menu while the system is running), run the command vmware-toolbox and in its user interface select “shrink disk”.

Published by Jakub Holý

I’m a JVM-based developer since 2005, consultant, and occasionally a project manager, working currently with Iterate AS in Norway.

One thought on “VMWare: Shrink image even though it’s a snapshot

  1. Hi At work we are using a VM that has a prealloacted HDD and about 20 snapshots. I have managed to change the original HDD to a Growable one. Now i need to shrink it.
    I do not have the permissio to create VM’s so i am unable to test out theories

    Please help answer these questions for me
    1.) The method you have used in your post, will it delete the snapshots? or will they still be avaliable after im done?
    2.) …mmm i guess that the only question for now

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