Convert disk images to various formats using qemu-img

In this article, we would focus on how to convert disk images to various formats using command-line utility qemu-img in Ubuntu distribution. Disk images are virtual hard disks which are used with virtual machines. These disk images are used to emulate disk storage devices. Furthermore depending on virtualization used, different disk images are utilized by different applications like QEMU/KVM, VirtualBox etc.

First we would discuss how to get command-line utility qemu-img (Qemu disk image utility).

Note: Following operations would require you to have superuser privileges. In case you don’t have one, then contact your System Administrator for assistance.

Install qemu-img in Ubuntu distribution

The required package is already available in standard Ubuntu repository. Therefore, we need to first update the repository. So, issue the following in terminal –

sudo apt update

Now, qemu-img command-line utility is packaged with qemu-utils. Hence –

sudo apt install qemu-utils
Convert RAW image to Qcow2, VDI, VMDK & VHD

I. Convert Raw image to Qcow2:

qemu-img convert -f raw image.raw -O qcow2 image.qcow2

II. Convert Raw image to VDI:

qemu-img convert -f raw image.raw -O vdi image.vdi

III. Convert Raw image to VMDK:

qemu-img convert -f raw image.raw -O vmdk image.vmdk

IV. Convert Raw image to VHD:

qemu-img convert -f raw image.raw -O vpc image.vhd
Convert Qcow2 image to RAW, VDI, VMDK & VHD

I. Convert Qcow2 image to RAW:

qemu-img convert -f qcow2 image.qcow2 -O raw image.raw

II. Convert Qcow2 image to VDI:

qemu-img convert -f qcow2 image.qcow2 -O vdi image.vdi

III. Convert Qcow2 image to VMDK:

qemu-img convert -f qcow2 image.qcow2 -O vmdk image.vmdk

IV. Convert Qcow2 image to VHD:

qemu-img convert -f qcow2 image.qcow2 -O vpc image.vhd
Convert VDI image to RAW, Qcow2, VMDK & VHD

I. Convert VDI image to RAW:

qemu-img convert -f vdi image.vdi -O raw image.raw

II. Convert VDI image to Qcow2:

qemu-img convert -f vdi image.vdi -O qcow2 image.qcow2

III. Convert VDI image to VMDK:

qemu-img convert -f vdi image.vdi -O vmdk image.vmdk

IV. Convert VDI image to VHD:

qemu-img convert -f vdi image.vdi -O vpc image.vhd
Convert VMDK image to RAW, Qcow2, VDI & VHD

I. Convert VMDK image to RAW:

qemu-img convert -f vmdk image.vmdk -O raw image.raw

II. Convert VMDK image to Qcow2:

qemu-img convert -f vmdk image.vmdk -O qcow2 image.qcow2

III. Convert VMDK image to VDI:

qemu-img convert -f vmdk image.vmdk -O vdi image.vdi

IV. Convert VMDK image to VHD:

qemu-img convert -f vmdk image.vmdk -O vpc image.vhd
Convert VHD image to RAW, Qcow2, VDI & VMDK

I. Convert VHD image to RAW:

qemu-img convert -f vpc image.vhd -O raw image.raw

II. Convert VHD image to Qcow2:

qemu-img convert -f vpc image.vhd -O qcow2 image.qcow2

III. Convert VHD image to VDI:

qemu-img convert -f vhd image.vhd -O vdi image.vdi

IV. Convert VHD image to VMDK:

qemu-img convert -f vpc image.vhd -O vmdk image.vmdk

In conclusion, we have discussed how to convert disk images to various formats using qemu-img in Ubuntu.