VMWare Workstation Pro to Virtualbox networking / importing a VMDK to Virtualbox not working

Hello all, I have two questions. Not sure if the first one would be a better question to ask the Virtualbox people but I figured I might as well ask while I’m here.

Versions: VMware Workstation 15 Pro. Virtualbox 6.0

Background: I’m currently trying to get a Windows XP box installed in VMware Workstation Pro to communicate with a Kali Linux box installed in Virtualbox. I got the Windows XP box as part of a class for demonstration purposes and it was given to me in a VMDK format.

First question: It works fine when I open it in VMware but when I try to add the VMDK image to VB, it crashes while booting and says “Error loading operating system”. I even tried taking the working VMware install of it and exporting it to OVF and importing the appliance into VB that way but I still get the same error.

Second question: I’m fine with using the Windows XP box in Workstation Pro but my Kali box is one I’ve used for some time now and has a good bit of custom scripts and tools installed on it so I’d prefer to use it. That Kali box is installed with VB. In terms of networking, I set both the VMware XP and VB Kali box to bridged, configured them on the same subnet, confirmed they could both ping my host machine, but they can’t reach each other. I’m not sure if it’s simply due to the fact that one is VMware and one is VB and there’s some software reason why it won’t work.

I’d really prefer to have the XP and Kali machine in their own subnet so the XP box isn’t internet reachable, but as it stands with them in different VM hosts, I don’t think that’s possible. I guess I could also export the Kali box and import it into Workstation, but I’d rather not have a second copy of it given it has a HD size of 100GB. If anyone has any tips about how I might get this working that’d be great.

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    After a bit more Googling, I came across this write-up which worked perfectly. I followed scenario 1 and can now get my VMware Windows XP box to communicate with my VB Kali box.

    Just use a Virtualbox Host-Only adapter since it will then create a new adapter on your host. In VMware, set the VMnet0 bridging network to use the Virtualbox host-only adapter. In the VM settings choose Custom -> VMnet0.


  2. It would be possible to make them in different subnets and connect them together but you would need VM that would act as router between 2 network adapters (like pfsense).

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