How to mount a virtual disk image on a host


If you are running Ubuntu, and want to mount a virtual hard disk image on your host, here is how to do it.

This works for any VBox-compatible disk:

  • VDI – VirtualBox disk image (Oracle)
  • VMDK – Virtual Machine Disk (VM ware)
  • VHD – Virtual Hard Disk (Microsoft)
  • HDD – Parallels Hard Disk (OS X)


First of all, install virtualbox-fuse, to be able to mount virtual disk as Filesystem in Userspace (FUSE):

sudo apt-get install virtualbox-fuse


Next step is setting the proper permissions for the configuration file:

sudo chmod a+rwx /etc/fuse.conf


Mount the virtual disk as FUSE:

vdfuse -r -a –v -f /path/to/virtual/disk/VirtualDiskName.vhd /path/to/mount/fuse_folder

(for explanation of the options used here, see the end of this post)


The output of this command would look something like this:

disktype is VHD

Partition Size Offset

========= ==== ======

Partition1 1048576 104857600

Partition2 105906176 107267227648


Now, the partition(s) appear as block files (Partition1, …), and can be mounted as a Loop Device:

sudo mount /path/to/mount/fuse_folder/Partition1 /path/to/mount/as/loop/folder/


Now the files contained in the virtual disk image can be accessed under /path/to/mount/as/loop/folder/


After usage, if the virtual disk image should be used in the same session, do the following unmounts:

sudo umount /path/to/mount/as/loop/folder/

sudo umount /path/to/mount/fuse_folder/


If you do a vdfuse -h, you will get the following:

DESCRIPTION: This Fuse module uses the VirtualBox access library to open a

VirtualBox supported VD image file and mount it as a Fuse file system. The

mount point contains a flat directory containing the files EntireDisk,

Partition1 .. PartitionN. These can then be loop mounted to access the

underlying file systems

USAGE: vdfuse [options] -f image-file mountpoint

-h help

-r readonly

-t specify type (VDI, VMDK, VHD, or raw; default: auto)

-f VDimage file

-a allow all users to read disk

-w allow all users to read and write to disk

-g run in foreground

-v verbose

-d debug

NOTE: you must add the line “user_allow_other” (without quotes) to /etc/fuse.confand set proper permissions on /etc/fuse.conf for this to work.


Lundbeck and migration to the cloud – a short analysis

“Lundbeck and migration to the cloud – a short analysis” available for download, in English and Danish version.

This brief analysis deals with the possible challenges of migration of Lundbeck’s SAP solution and IT infrastructure generally to the cloud, and could apply to any pharmaceutical or medicinal company.

Tech Report on Guidelines for Building a Private Cloud Infrastructure available for download!


After some finalizing work, and getting TR and ISBN numbers, the report documents are ready for download:

The tech paper is consisting of 4 documents, and they all can be downloaded using the upper link.

Feel free to distribute the documents (directly to a person, or to news groups and forums), but please do it using the link (not the original documents themselves). In that way I am able to track the interest shown in papers, which helps me a lot in my future work.

Comments, suggestions and feedback are welcome – just leave a comment, or contact me using e-mail.

Invited as guest lecturer for Cloud Computing course @ITU

I was invited as guest lecturer for Cloud Computing course, ITU, February 2012

I hope the 2 hours talk was interesting. Smile (I am looking forward to feedback in few weeks)

The lecture was on implementation of private clouds and open source software in academic environments.

The presentation can be downloaded free and without registration from course’s blog – see lecture 7 of week 5:

Guidelines for Building a Private Cloud Infrastructure – Technical report


Technical report on Guidelines for Building a Private Cloud Infrastructure finished

After finishing the project about designing and setting up a private cloud infrastructure in an academic and scientific environment based on open source software, my supervisor dr. M. Ali Babar and I agreed on putting some additional work on the subject, making a technical report. The report is consisting of several documents, and they are made available for individuals and organizations interested – please visit Ali’s blog.

Here is a part of the summary:
Cloud computing has become an extremely attractive area of research and practice over the last few years. An increasing number of public and private sector organizations have either adopted cloud computing based solutions or are seriously considering a move to cloud computing. However, there are many concerns about adopting and using public cloud solutions. Hence, private cloud solutions are becoming an attractive alternative to a large number of companies. We initiated a project aimed at designing and setting up a private cloud infrastructure in an academic and scientific environment based on open source software. One of the key objectives of this project was to create relevant material for providing a reference guide on the use of open source software for designing and implementing a private cloud.
The primary focus on this document is to provide a brief background on different theoretical concepts of cloud computing and then elaborate on the practical aspects concerning the design, installation and implementation of a private cloud using open source solution. It is expected that organizations looking at the possibilities for implementing cloud solutions would benefit from getting the basics, and a view on the different aspects of cloud computing in this document. Defining the cloud computing; analysis of the economical, security, legality, privacy, confidentiality aspects. There is also a short discussion about the potential impact on the employee’s future roles, and the challenges of migrating to cloud.
The main part of this report is concentrating on the practical infrastructure related questions and issues, supplied with practical guidelines and how-to-dos. The main topic was the design of the server and network infrastructure, and the distribution of the roles over the servers belonging to a private cloud. The management of the instances and the related subjects are out of the scope of this document. This document is accompanied by three supplemental books that contain material from our experiences of scaling out in the virtual environment and cloud implementation in a physical environment using the available server and networking equipment.

Finished with the “Private Cloud in Academic Environments” project!

After six months of hard work, I am finally finished with the project (both project report delivery and exam)!

Please find more details about the project here, at dr. Ali Babar’s blog (my supervisor).

Ali and I plan to extend the private cloud solution for our research and education on cloud computing.

The plan is also further to refine and publish the guidelines from the project report. If you are interested in getting the report in its current form, please contact dr. Ali Babar.

Participated in research project ”ArchCloud” @ ITU of Copenhagen

Participated in research project ”ArchCloud” @ ITU of Copenhagen with presentation on “Setting up a private cloud for academic environment with open source software”.

The intention was to establish a close collaboration under a main theme “Empowering Cloud computing with architectural principles and practices” which connects Danish researchers with highly knowledgeable and expert researchers in the areas of cloud computing, software architecture, and software product lines from China, Japan, and Brazil.

Please refer to this link for more information:

ArchClouds @ITU