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I have an Ubuntu 10.04 LTS install on a production server. Now I want to test some new features, but I do not want to affect the current server. I want to migrate the whole system (or at least the packages and configs)

Is it possible to migrate the running machine to a Virtual box? (Although the server is 65bit and my testing environment is 32)

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1 Answer 1

VirtualBox supports 64-bit guest operating systems, even on 32-bit host operating systems, provided that the following conditions are met:

  • You need a 64-bit processor with hardware virtualization support.
  • You must enable hardware virtualization for the particular VM for which you want 64-bit support; software virtualization is not supported for 64-bit VMs.

I'm not aware of any P2V (physical to virtual) tools for VirtualBox. On VMware I would use VMware Converter for this. Perhaps you could do it in multiple steps: Convert the physical machine to a VMware VM (running on the free VMware Server) with the free VMware Converter, and then convert the virtual disks to VirtualBox format. There are some tutorials on the second step. I've never tried the following procedure but it might work:

VirtualBox can run VMs created by VMware Workstation or Server. For this you need to import vmdk files using the following procedure:

  • Start Virtual Box
  • Goto File > Virtual Disk Manager
  • Click Add. Locate and select the copied .vmdk file. Click OK.
  • Create a New VM as usual using the added vmdk file
  • Boot the VM
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Installing VMware Server is not a big deal. This means I can run the 64-bit Ubuntu on my AMD Athlon P340 just by converting the server with a VMware Converter? (NICE!) As this is my first P2V experience - is there a good how-to for Ubuntu and VMware Converter? All I have found are with a GUI and I just have ssh access ... –  FrenkTch Dec 27 '10 at 1:06
You should run Converter Stand-alone on another machine, such as a Windows desktop, so that's your GUI. Converter will connect to both your Ubuntu server and to VMware Server. According to the User Guide you can perform powered-on migration of an Ubuntu machine. See vmware.com/support/pubs/converter_pubs.html for the User Guide. Make sure to check the "Conversion Limitations for Powered-On Machines" in that guide. –  Martijn Heemels Jan 12 '11 at 10:49

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