Brendan McKenzie

Converting Parallels Hard Drives to VMware Fusion

Tuesday, 4 July 2023


If you want to migrate your Parallels virtual machine to VMware Fusion, you'll need to convert the virtual hard drive file format. This process involves utilizing the qemu-img tool to convert the .hds file from Parallels to a compatible format for VMware Fusion. In this blog post, we'll walk you through the necessary steps to successfully convert your Parallels virtual hard drives to VMware Fusion.

Step 1: Install qemu-img

First, ensure that you have qemu-img installed on your system. If it's not already installed, you can download and install it from the QEMU website or by using package managers like Homebrew (for macOS) or apt-get (for Linux). Make sure you have the latest version of qemu-img for optimal compatibility.

Step 2: Locate the Parallels Hard Drive (.hds) file

Locate the virtual machine's hard drive file with the .hds extension. This file contains all the data and configurations for your Parallels virtual machine.

Find where your Parallels virtual machine (likely in ~/Parallels) is in Finder, right click and "Show Package Contents" on the .pvm file, locate the .hdd file, and the .hds file should be therein.

Step 3: Convert the Parallels hard drive to VMware Fusion format

Execute the qemu-img command to convert the Parallels hard drive file (.hds) to a VMware Fusion compatible format (e.g., .vmdk). The basic command structure is as follows:

qemu-img convert -O <output_format> <input_file> <output_file>

Replace <output_format> with "vmdk" and <input_file> with the path to your Parallels hard drive file. Choose a desired name and path for <output_file>, which will be the converted VMware Fusion hard drive file. For example:

qemu-img convert -O vmdk /path/to/parallels.hds /path/to/vmware_fusion.vmdk

Step 4: Import the converted hard drive into VMware Fusion Launch VMware Fusion and select "New" to create a new virtual machine. Choose "Use another disk or image" when prompted for the installation media. Browse to the location where you saved the converted .vmdk file and select it as the disk for the new virtual machine.

Step 5: Complete the VMware Fusion setup

Follow the on-screen prompts to configure the virtual machine settings, such as memory allocation, network configuration, and operating system installation. Make sure to select the appropriate settings based on your requirements.

Step 6: Start the virtual machine

Once the setup is complete, start the virtual machine in VMware Fusion. You should now be able to use your Parallels virtual machine within VMware Fusion.


Migrating your Parallels virtual machine to VMware Fusion is made possible by converting the virtual hard drive file format. Following the step-by-step guide outlined in this blog post, you can successfully convert the Parallels .hds file to a compatible format for VMware Fusion using the qemu-img tool. Enjoy using your Parallels virtual machine seamlessly within VMware Fusion and take advantage of its features and functionalities.