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Contents of the virtual machine bundle in Fusion (1021016)

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This article provides information about the contents of virtual machine bundles in Fusion.


Virtual machines are stored in a bundle format (also known as a package), so that they can be copied and moved as a single unit. The bundles are made up of many different files. In normal operation, you do not need to see or work with these files, but you may be required to for certain advanced operations or troubleshooting steps.

To find your virtual machine bundle and see the files contained within the bundle, follow the steps in Locating the virtual machine bundle in VMware Fusion (1007599).
The file types can be identified by their extensions (which are visible when looking at the package contents). The different types are:
File Name
This file keeps a log of virtual machine activity (for example, when a virtual machine is started up or shut down). It does not record events that happen inside the guest Operating System. This file can be useful in troubleshooting if you encounter problems. This file is stored in the directory that holds the configuration (.vmx) file of the virtual machine.
This file stores the state of the virtual machine's BIOS.
This file stores the RAM of a running virtual machine, or the RAM at the time the snapshot was taken.
This is a centralized file for storing information and metadata about snapshots.
This is the snapshot state file, which stores the running state of a virtual machine at the time you that take the snapshot.
This is the suspended state file, which stores the state of a suspended virtual machine.
This is the primary configuration file, which stores settings chosen in the New Virtual Machine Assistant or virtual machine settings pane.
This is a supplemental configuration file.
This is a virtual disk file, which stores the contents of the virtual machine's hard disk drive. Almost all of a .vmdk file's content is the virtual machine's data, with a small portion allotted to virtual machine overhead.
If you have specified that the virtual disk should be split into 2 GB files, you see a number of .vmdk files called "slices" (the number of slices depends on the specified size of the virtual disk). As data is added to a virtual disk, the .vmdk files grow in size, to a maximum of 2GB each. (If you specify that all space should be allocated when you create the disk, these files start at the maximum size and do not grow.) The slices are preceded by s (sparse) if you do not allocate the disk space, or f (flat) if you do allocate the disk space.
This is a redo-log file (also referred to as a snapshot disk) created automatically when a virtual machine has one or more snapshots. This file stores changes made to a virtual disk while the virtual machine is running. There may be more than one such file. The ###### indicates a unique suffix added automatically to avoid duplicate file names.
Like the virtual disk, the snapshot disk can be split into slices (which are be appropriately prefixed).

Note: <vmname> is the name of your virtual machine (usually the operating system). For example, Windows XP Professional .

Additional Information

To work with the files in a virtual machine bundle, you may need to turn the bundle into a folder (or may simply find it more convenient). To turn the bundle into a folder, remove the .vmwarevm extension. To do so:
  1. Ctrl-click your virtual machine bundle and select Get Info.
  2. From the Name & Extension field, remove the text that says .vmwarevm.
  3. Close the Get Info window.
Note: In order to avoid accidental data loss, VMware recommends re-adding the .vmwarevm extension once you have completed these steps.
For instructions on locating your virtual machine bundle, see Locating the virtual machine bundle in VMware Fusion (1007599).

See Also

Update History

12/12/2012 - Added Fusion 5.x to Products 08/25/2014 - Update for Fusion 7.x

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To request a new product feature or to provide feedback on a VMware product, please visit the Request a Product Feature page.


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