Copying ESXi VMs to a New ESXi Using SCP Directly

In the world of virtualization, efficiently migrating virtual machines (VMs) is crucial for maintenance, disaster recovery, and workload balancing. This blog post explores using SCP (Secure Copy) to copy ESXi VMs to a new host system. SCP offers a secure and reliable method for transferring VM files over a network connection.

  • Steps to Copy ESXi VMs Using SCP:
    1. Start The SSH service on both ESXI server.
    2. Power Down the VM: Ensure the VM you intend to copy is powered down on the source host to maintain data consistency during transfer.
    3. Initiate SCP Transfer: Use the scp command on the source host, specifying the source VM directory, destination username, IP address of the destination host, and the destination directory path. You’ll be prompted to enter the password for the destination host’s user account.
  • Example:
scp -v -r /vmfs/volumes/datastore1/VM_Name root@destination_host_IP:/vmfs/volumes/datastore2

Or the other way around

scp -v -r root@destination_host_IP:/vmfs/volumes/datastore2 /vmfs/volumes/datastore1/VM_Name
  • Verification: Once the transfer is complete, log in to the destination host and confirm the presence of the copied VM files in the specified datastore.


SCP provides a straightforward method for copying ESXi VMs to a new host. Remember that this approach copies the VM files only. Additional steps might be required to register the VM with the destination ESXi host and configure its settings.

Additional Considerations:

  • Large VMs: For large VMs, SCP transfers might take a significant amount of time. Consider alternative methods like shared storage or dedicated VM migration tools for faster transfers.
  • Network Stability: Ensure a stable and reliable network connection between the source and destination hosts for successful VM file transfer.

By following these steps and considering the additional points, you can effectively migrate your ESXi VMs using SCP.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *