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I have a two live Debian linux servers that I would like to move to virtual just for testing usage. It seems that there are many solutions to do this, but I am looking for something that is free, and will be able to create a VM of the server while it is live.

I have looked into VMWare ESXi4, but it seems to be an overly complicated process, needing additional computers to run as client, ESXi server, machine to save VM etc. What a pain.

I have also been told that Oracle makes a great P2V open source product.

Does anyone have EXPERIENCE in doing this, and have a recommendation for something that is easy to use, will allow live P2V, is free, and the final VM will run in either VMWare Fusion or VirtualBox?

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up vote 1 down vote accepted

I've been doing P2V conversions with Vmware converter and V2P conversions (with Acronis True Image) for two years.It works, even if Vmware Converter is kind of slow and Acronis often makes the resulting system unbootable because of the grub and because the partitions are wrongly mapped in /etc/fstab (so you have to boot with an bootable linux and fix grub and /etc/fstab). There is no easy solution for P2V conversion because the devices can get wrongly mapped in the new setup. Exactly in this point Vmware Converter does a great job,even if it sometimes fails for stupid reasons (if you have partitions greater than 100 GB, there are chances the conversion will fail because formating 100 GB takes a long time and the Converter takes a period of longer then 5 minutes without output as a sign of failure).

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