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I have a physical (not virtualized) 32Bit Debian server I'd like to mirror as VirtualBox image. I seem unable to find tools like vmware-converter to do the trick.

So: what tools can I use? Or, can you point me to a howto document?

Edit: After I posted my question, I found this: Creating a virtual machine in VirtualBox from a physical one

Still, I hoped for a tool...

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up vote 3 down vote accepted

You can use the VMware Converter to get a copy of a (running) physical machine. The resulting image can be user natively by current VirtualBox releases.

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One way should be just to take image of your server with the good old dd:

dd if=/dev/sda of=/path/to/somewhere/with/lots/of/diskspace/serverimage.dd bs=1M

(assuming your server HD is /dev/sda)

And then convert the dd image to VirtualBox image using VBoxManage:

VBoxManage convertfromraw serverimage.dd serverimage.vdi

Then just add that as your virtual server HD from VirtualBox GUI and you should be all set.

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There are probably a few ways to approach this, but one way could be:

  • Create a VM with USB support & appropriately sized (and like/physical equivalent - IDE, SCSI, etc.) VM storage
  • Transfer physical disk onto USB case/enclosure
  • Boot VM with a bootable CD-based partition manager (maybe something with gParted, Acronis, etc.) with USB drive attached
  • Copy partitions from "USB drive" onto VM storage
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