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Q: Should I backup a VMware virtual machine?

  • Are virtual machine files (.dsk or .vmdk) are important enough to backup?
  • Can the virtual machine be recreated without a backup of these files?


  • VMware fusion on Mac
  • Typically these files are huge, 60GB or even more.
  • Without these files you would need to reinstall everything OS and apps. Also, if there are files stored in the virtual environment you would need a backup copy of those files.


  • There are a number of approaches that can work depending on your situation.
  • One solution is: Advise users that virtual machines are not backed up. They should save any files stored there to a "shared" folder that their native (Mac) operating system can read. Then, exclude the entire virtual machine disk file from backups, saving gigabytes of space.


Documentation and information provided by the MIT Community

Last Modified:

December 09, 2008

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