This is something that I do relatively often, and yet, for some reason, I always forget how to do this and end up having to look up how to guides... well here comes another one!

It is possible to have a QEMU host boot a virtual machine created for ESXi or VMware Workstation Player. In order do this, you will need an .ova file.

Once you have the file (which is nothing more than a container for other files, almost like a zip file), you can extract and convert using a couple of commands, namely 'tar' and 'qemu-img'.

  1. tar xvf VMwareVM.ova

  2. qemu-img convert -O qcow2 VMwareVMD_disk.vmdk VMwareVMDisk.qcow2

Then from here, all you need to do is create your virtual machine with QEMU - I usually use libvirt/virt-manager to do this and point the HDDs to the newly created qcow2 files.