VMware ESXi: Error while cloning a Disk to 2gbsparse format


since ESXi 5.1 it is no more possible to create or clone a disk by using the 2gbsparse disk format. Because it is not supported as a VMFS vitual disk format. This disk format is only part of the Desktop Products of VMware, like VMware Workstation or VMware Player.

However in earlier version the command line tool vmkfstools could create disks and clone disks in such format. If you try this in ESXi 5.1 or later version a

~ # vmkfstools -i Disk.vmdk clone.vmdk -d 2gbsparse
“The system cannot find the file specified.”

error occurs.

A good news: Its possible such disks:-) And the bad: Its not supported :-(.
Before you can use the 2gbsparse disk format you have to load the kernel module multiextent. Load it and check if it is present in the module list.

~ # esxcli system module load -m multiextent
~ # esxcli system module list|grep multiextent
multiextent                         true        true

After loading try it again:

~ # vmkfstools -i Disk.vmdk clone.vmdk -d 2gbsparse
Cloning disk 'Disk.vmdk'...
Clone: 100% done.


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One thought on “VMware ESXi: Error while cloning a Disk to 2gbsparse format”

  1. Hello,
    and what if I get: “reached the host’s limit for open files (40).” I have set ulimit -n 1024.

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