VMWare Virtual Disk Format (VMDK)

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Image types

There are multiple types of VMWare Virtual Disk Format (VMDK) files:

  • 2GbMaxExtentFlat (or twoGbMaxExtentFlat); descriptor file (name.vmdk) with RAW extent data files (name-f###.vmdk). This image type is basically a split RAW image.
  • 2GbMaxExtentSparse (or twoGbMaxExtentSparse); descriptor file (name.vmdk) with VMDK sparse extent data files (name-s###.vmdk)
  • monolithicFlat; descriptor file (name.vmdk) with RAW extent data file (name-f001.vmdk). This image type is basically a RAW image.
  • monolithicSparse; VMDK sparse extent data file (name.vmdk) which contains the descriptor file data.

Descriptor file

The descriptor file defines how and where the data of the VMDK image is stored. The data is stored in extent data files.

Extent data file types

There are multiple types extent data files:

  • RAW extent data file or device
  • VMDK sparse extent data file
  • COWD sparse extent data file

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