The official doc of OpenWrt on VMware HowTo seems already outdated, and there’s no explaination of how to fix Unsupported or invalid disk type 2 for 'scsi0:0'. Ensure that the disk has been imported. on ESXi 6.7. Here after looked into some clues on Chinese router forums, I found an usable method to convert the image into ESXi VMDK format on macOS.

Download the Image

You can find the .img.gz files on https://downloads.openwrt.org/, for example:

https://downloads.openwrt.org/releases/19.07.4/targets/x86/64/openwrt-19.07.4-x86-64-combined-ext4.img.gz

Install Dependencies

brew install gzip # To un-gzip .gz files
brew install qemu # To convert images

Convert .img to .vmdk

gunzip openwrt-19.07.4-x86-64-combined-ext4.img.gz
qemu-img convert -f raw -O vmdk openwrt-19.07.4-x86-64-combined-ext4.img openwrt-19.07.4-x86-64-combined-ext4.vmdk

Upload the VMDK to ESXi

You can either upload the image using scp command or via web UI. However, I would suggest enable SSH on your ESXi host and use scp, as the next step requires shell prompt on the host.

scp openwrt-19.07.4-x86-64-combined-ext4.vmdk [email protected]:/vmfs/volumes/datastore1/

Fix Unsupported or invalid disk type 2 for 'scsi0:0'

Before using the .vmdk file as an “existing hard disk” on ESXi, there’s one more step to convert it into supported disk type.

ssh [email protected]
cd /vmfs/volumes/datastore1/
vmkfstools -i 'openwrt-19.07.4-x86-64-combined-ext4.vmdk' openwrt-converted.vmdk -d thin

Done! Now we can create and boot a VM with adding openwrt-converted.vmdk as the primary disk. Enjoy it!