I want to do a live migration of my Fedora and Windows Server 2003 into raw disk image without restart the server or shut it down. (disk image is for virtualization purpose) Is there any open source software that I can use? I've heard of VMware Converter but it have to be moved to be virtualized in VMware Server ESXi or VMware Workstation.(I'll go for either Xen or KVM after the imaging) FYI, there's also database running on my server.


The only possible hot P2V option that I have seen described is "live migration" of a Windows instance in VMware, nothing in FOSS. VMware calls this operation "Hot Cloning" and it actually uses a sort of hub and spoke arrangement between the source computer, the converter programs (client, server, worker and agent), the virtual host environment and the new guest virtual machine. Not a simple dance.

In addition to this caveat, there is a difference between a "live" physical machine and a machine that is also running applications with users, dns names and databases running. I suspect "live" only means that the OS is running, not that users are hitting it actively.


you cannot live migrate from physical to virtual hardware. What you should do is plan downtime for the VM, and when ready, image or back it up, then restore to the VM.

  • But I saw some software can do the whole migration process live, on Windows. Is there open source alternative for Linux? – user73766 Mar 15 '11 at 13:07
  • "some software" is no argument. What software exactly are you talking about? – dyasny Mar 15 '11 at 14:23
  • For Windows, there are disk2vhd, VMware converter. However, for open source I can't find any that do live imaging. – user73766 Mar 15 '11 at 18:27
  • this "live" imaging does NOT provide live migration between physical and virtual. what is provides is P2V, for Linux there's virt-v2v (RHEL and Fedora) and libguestfish can cope with any other distro afaik – dyasny Mar 15 '11 at 22:45

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