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I have an Ubuntu 9.04 physical server in place and need to create a staging server for our software development efforts to push releases out to so we can evaluate if the software is ready for production.

Unfortunately, with the primary server being Ubuntu 9.04, I'm running into issues building a VM in VMware EXi Server 4 for it because Canonical has removed some of the repositories for that release because it is now End Of Life'ed (EOL). It's my own fault for not installing an LTS version of Ubuntu to begin with, but that's another story entirely.

Basically I need a staging server that matches our production server as closely as possible. In the Windows world, I wouldn't consider imaging an existing server and using that to build a VM as Windows, and a lot of the software installed on Window Server, is finicky about the name of the server being changed after the fact. I'm wondering how appropriate it would be to do this for a Linux/Ubuntu server?

So, I am considering using the VMware converter tool on a Windows box to clone our production server to a VM, then change the hostname and the IP address(es) on the VM to be unique. Should I be concerned with taking this approach?

Many thanks in advance!


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FWIW, we create staging systems by cloning live Windows servers all the time and we've never had issues with changing the names of the systems. – Mark Henderson Jun 30 '11 at 3:22
Thanks for that Mark - what virtualization software are you using? – wchrisjohnson Jun 30 '11 at 3:31
@wchris - we have a mix of VMWare ESXi with vCenter and Hyper-V with System Centre Virtual Machine Manager. We use Hyper-V for testing purposes as it falls under our Technet license and ESXi for production. – Mark Henderson Jun 30 '11 at 4:42
@mark - Good to hear. I'm planning to try cloning the prod Ubuntu server to a VM tomorrow with the Windows based VMware Converter application. – wchrisjohnson Jun 30 '11 at 5:14
The clone went off without a hitch, but I'm having trouble getting a nic to come up on the vm. I'll ask another question for that... – wchrisjohnson Jul 1 '11 at 5:21
up vote 0 down vote accepted

Just to close this question properly, this DID work as I had hoped, and as Mark noted above. Obviously, you need to update the hostname and IP address and do other cleanup work based on your specific server setup (mysql, etc.), but the process was a lot quicker than building a "clone" by hand.

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