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I need to migrate some data from a virtual machine that runs on Xen, and it occured to me that the easiest way would be to migrate the full image. Unfortunately, I don't have access to the host machine (that runs the hypervisor), only to the virtualized system.

Is there any way to create a "transferrable" image of the system I am accessing?

Sorry if this doesn't make sense, but I don't have experience in working with virtualization solutions.


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By design, VMs are not able to access the underlying hypervisor. In general, the VM OS does not know it's running in a VM. However, xen and other hypervisors do have tools that are installed in the "guest" OS that do allow some forms of communication between the two.

I have used many virtualization systems and I've never seen one that allows the guest to access the host in the way you are describing.

In short, you either need access to the underlying hypervisor (or in Xen's case, the dom0 OS), or you need to migrate the data using in-OS tools (ie: backup program, rsync, ftp, etc...) just like you would if you had the OS running on a physical machine and didn't have access to said machine.

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It is possible if you have access to both machines that you could do a DD or something similar, although it would be overly complicated instead of just asking the VMM-manager to do the migration for you.

To Swoogan: please note that XEN actually uses paravirtualization where the VMs are aware of the VMM. Its quite possibly the biggest advantage to XEN over other VMMs such as VMwares.

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Xen supports full virtualization (if the processor has hardware virtualization support), in which case the guest would not be aware of the VMM. – Swoogan Dec 10 '09 at 20:37

You can try to boot VM from something like Clonezilla - make an image, and write this image on new hypervisor :)

or if you write Xen but mean Citix Xen Server you can use boot CD and use migration feature but i'm not shure if this works.

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