In this detailed guide, we will explore the process of converting a VirtualBox OVA file to the QCOW2 format, a necessary step for deploying virtual machines in a QEMU/KVM environment. This conversion is essential for users looking to transition from VirtualBox to a more scalable and open-source virtualization option like QEMU/KVM. We’ll cover each step of the process, from exporting your VirtualBox machine to finally deploying it on QEMU/KVM.
Virtualization technology has become an indispensable tool in software development, testing, and deployment. It allows you to run multiple virtual machines (VMs) on a single physical machine, each with its own isolated operating system and resources. This tutorial focuses on setting up a virtualization environment on Debian or Ubuntu Linux using QEMU, KVM (Kernel-based Virtual Machine), and Virt-Manager.
Qcow2 is the default virtual disk storage format used by Qemu (qcow stands for qemu copy-on-write). This image format makes use of thin provisioning, so, after we initially set the maximum virtual size of a disk, space is actually allocated only when used, but not made available back to the host when freed.
In a previous article, we saw how to create kvm virtual machines from the command line; in this tutorial, instead, we learn how to access and modify virtual machines disk images, using some utilities which are part of the libguestfs package on the most commonly used Linux distributions. Those tools let us perform a variety of tasks.