If you need to convert a computer image (for example, taken with dd) to a VirtualBox VM, you might have seen a few tutorials online that show you how to convert the disk image to the VirtualBox own VDI format. Some of this guides mention either the convertdd or the convertfromraw command to achieve this, but are there any differences between the two?

Technically speaking, convertdd and convertfromraw are options of the main VBoxManage command, so you can find the complete command in either of these two forms:

VBoxManage convertdd inputfile outputfile —format VDI
VBoxManage convertfromraw inputfile outputfile —format VDI

These two commands are exactly the same, so don’t be tempted to try the other one should your P2V conversion not be successful for any reason. This is confirmed in a note buried somewhere in the documentation page of VBoxManage:

For compatibility with earlier versions of VirtualBox, the “convertdd” command is also supported and mapped internally to the “convertfromraw” command.

So, in conclusion, you can use either convertdd or convertfromraw as both of them will return the same result.