After lots of research, I’m in favour of the Virtual Disk Driver program called VDK available from http://chitchat.at.infoseek.co.jp/vmware/vdk.html and distributed under the GPL licence. Here’s some of the features that attracted me to it:
- VDK doesn’t require running an MSI for installation – In keeping with the principles of starting a new project (checkout and go), I can simply include this file as part of a code repostiory, and know that I’m not forcing every other developer yet another manual step. Although you do need to install VDK, it’s a command line registration that is as simple as:
- VDK is fully executable via the command line – This allows me to wrap this in the language of my choice to help automate environment setup as needed for a particular test to run.
- VDK supports VMDK (VMWare Disk) images – Using other tools to generate the files that I want, I can easily use VDK to mount them to a particular drive letter.
- VDK supports mounting with different options – Including read-only, read-write, and write-block mode.
- VDK has good documentation – I found it really easy to understand what commands to execute to install, remove, mount, unmount, all with different options because both the command line (
vdk.exe help) and the
readme.txthad plenty of information and examples. It also helps that it follows conventions with other command line programs (following the DOS conventions of parameters with slashes)
- VDK is realiable – I did plenty of different tests mounting and unmounting and it just keeps going (though your Windows Explorer may need a refresh (F5) to keep up).
Using a VMWare Disk Image created by QEMU as discussed previously, I can now create a new virtual disk mounted in windows simply by using the following commands:
vdk install vdk open 0 floppy_disk.vmdk /P:0 /RW /L:Y format /fs:fat y:
See the image below: