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Question Title How to Shrink a VMware Guest in VMware Workstation/ VMware GSX Server

Shrinking a VMware guest (.vmdk file)

The basic command:

To make the size of a VMware guest image smaller, use the vmware-vdiskmanager command, with the -k option:

>vmware-vdiskmanager.exe -k guest.vmdk

The prep work:

Less talked about, but equally important, is "preparing the guest for shrinking," from inside the guest OS.

Before you run vmware-vdiskmanager, boot into your guest OS:

open vmware-toolbox (both Windows and Linux VMware guests will have this)

click the "shrink" tab

make sure all relevant drives are selected

run "Prepare to Shrink."

OS Gotchas:

Note: most existing documentation suggests that the shrink option of vmware-vidskmanager will only work on a Windows host. The VMware docs say you can shrink any kind of guest, but only from Windows hosts. This is somewhat true.

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Article Number: 42
Created: 2008-11-23 5:40 PM
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