How to Mount VMDK Disk With an HFS Partition

Updated July 20, 2017

VMware creates virtual machines with virtual hardware to install guest operating systems on. VMware uses VMDK, or Virtual Machine Disk, format files for virtual hard drive images. VMware provides a utility that can mount VMDK disk image partitions on the host computer, allowing you to access and modify it like you would any other file system. Unfortunately, VMware's utility for Windows can only mount partition with file systems Windows supports, such as NTFS and FAT32. You can mount VMDK disk partitions in HFS format on a Linux computer, which natively supports HFS.

Download and install the Virtual Disk Development Kit for Linux from VMware. (See Resources.)

Open a terminal by clicking "Applications," "Accessories" and "Terminal."

Become the root user by typing "su" into the terminal, or "sudo su" on Ubuntu, and pressing "Enter."

Type the password at the password prompt and press "Enter."

Type "vmware-mount -p /path/to/disk.vmdk" into the terminal, replacing "/path/to/disk.vmdk" with the path to the VMDK disk on the computer, and press "Enter."

Read the partition number of the HFS partition in the command's output.

Create a mount point for the HFS partition by typing "mkdir /mnt/hfs" into the terminal and pressing "Enter."

Mount the HFS partition in the VMDK disk image by typing "vmware-mount /path/to/disk.vmdk 1 /mnt/hfs" into the terminal, replacing "/path/to/disk.vmdk" with the path to the VMDK disk file and "1" with the number of the HFS partition, and pressing "Enter."


Unmount the HFS partition when you're finished with it by typing "vmware-mount -d /mnt/hfs" into the root terminal and pressing "Enter."

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About the Author

Chris Hoffman is a technology writer and all-around tech geek who writes for PC World, MakeUseOf, and How-To Geek. He's been using Windows since Windows 3.1 was released in 1992.