Use a VirtualBox VDI on a Linode

Linode Staff

I'm running an application inside VirtualBox on a Linux Server. I'd like to take this VirtualBox image (.vdi format) and install it as a custom image on a Linode. How do I go about this? Specifically, can I transfer the .vdi file directly to a Linode or do I first need to convert the .vdi image into a file that's usable on a Linode? If so, how?

5 Replies

I haven't had the chance to test this myself, but I wanted to offer what limited advice I could find.

From what I can tell, you can convert the .vdi file to a .img file using VirtualBox's CLI (VBoxManage). The command should be:

vboxmanage clonehd image.vdi image.img --format RAW

Then, you can follow the instructions for uploading a disk over ssh, which involves booting into Rescue Mode, running the dd command locally to copy to file to your Linode, expanding the file system, and then modifying the Linode's configuration profile.

If there's a snag in this process, you might also want to reference the Install a Custom Distribution on a Linode doc. This has some additional advice for running custom images on a Linode.

Could you elaborate on the "modifying the Linode's configuration profile" a bit?

I want to move a Virtualbox VM that is running Zimbra under CentOS7 into a Linode as I will be losing my static ip address soon along with port 25 blocking, thereby preventing me from running my own mail server any more.

@davidhjameson --

Why don't you just bring up a CentOS7 Linode and install Zimbra on it? Linode has a supported CentOS7 image and you can get the open source version of Zimbra here:

If you have a pay-for version of Zimbra, engage your support contract for help in moving your installation.

Seems like the whole Virtualbox image thing just adds a layer of software that (and a performance hit) that you don't need.

-- sw

Because I'm not an expert and it took me forever to figure out how to get everything working the first time around. So I figured that if I can just "move" the image to Linode, all I will need to do is change the DNS and RDNS records and I'm done. Many years of emails are also on the same VM and really, isn't one of the benefits of using virtual machines the ability to move them!

Why don't you just bring up a CentOS7 Linode and install Zimbra on it?

@davidhjameson --

You write:

Could you elaborate on the "modifying the Linode's configuration profile" a bit?

The configuration profile tells the Linode which discs to map to which devices in your Linode's /dev directory; which device is the boot device; what the boot loader is (GRUB, etc).

All the settings are located under Disks/Config in the Cloud Manager for your Linode.

-- sw


Please enter an answer

You can mention users to notify them: @username

You can use Markdown to format your question. For more examples see the Markdown Cheatsheet.

> I’m a blockquote.

I’m a blockquote.

[I'm a link] (

I'm a link

**I am bold** I am bold

*I am italicized* I am italicized

Community Code of Conduct