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09 April, 2007

Cloning a Linux Machine with Converter

Hi all,
I've tried to clone a physical linux server (Fedora) with the VmWare Converter 3, and I do it. Unfortunatly cloning Linux with Converter is only experimental, and the application just clone the disk and you have to do all the manual task at the end of the cloning process in order to make the new VM works. I've followed the procedure that I've found in the http://www.vmwiz.com/ site and, as stated in the site, use process at your own risk.

First of all, if not installed, you should install the kernel source and utilities, on the physical machine.

Basically you have to reboot the linux machine with the Converter boot CD and clone it.
When this trivial task is finished, have a look at the settings of the VM on your Virtual Infrastructure client and do the needed change to reflect your "in mind" configuration.
Try to start the VM: quite soon you'll receive a kernel panic message. Swith off your Linux VM, and reboot it with a linux rescue CD. I've used Red Hat 7.2 disc 1 and at the boot: prompt write linux rescue.
Mount the installation, thet's pretty straightforward 'cause linux rescue option ask you if you want to do that, and mount your virtual disk as /mnt/sysimage. At the prompt do a chroot /mnt/sysimage.
Go to /etc/modules.conf and back it up: edit it removing all the physical SCSI driver that could be aliased in the file - replacing it with BusLogic driver.
Change directory to /boot and make a copy of your ramdisk(s) just in case of error... Issue the mkinitrd command for rebuilding the modules for the Buslogic driver (mkinitrd -f -v /boot/initrd-[version]-img [version]).
Halt your system. Disconnect boot cd connected for rescue procedure. Your system will boot up normally and you just have to install vmtools.

This procedure works for me but I cannot assure that's right for you.

Below you have some links on the subject.

Manual Physical Machine to Virtual Machine Conversion (P2V) Instructions for Linux
Wonders of 'dd' and 'netcat' :: Cloning Operating Systems
Linux P2V