I have a guest ubuntu server with a 500gb hd running on vmware esxi 5.0. I want to shrink the disk, my plan is to use clonezilla to move the files to a smaller disk, boot from that disk and then delete the larger disk.

Will this work?

Also, The machine is a publicly accessible database so it can't be down long. In there an easy way to copy the entire machine and route to that IP until the smaller one is ready?


used vmware converter. first:

-enable root account on ubuntu server : $sudo -i $sudo passwd root

On windows 7 local: "In Windows Explorer, browse to the folder C:\ProgramData\VMware\VMware vCenter Converter Standalone\ssl

When you try to open folder ssl, you will discover that you do not have permission to do so.

Assuming you have administrator privileges:

When you double click to open folder ssl, a pop-up will present a CONTINUE button which, when pressed, will permanently unlock the folder for you and the problem will be solved.

I'm doing this from memory - if I skipped a step in unlocking the folder, the problem is simply that the folder ssl is locked and you need to unlock it." -do this or conversion will fail

use converter to convert>powered on machine: IP of VM you want to duplicate + root account and pass

chose host as destination sys

edit configuration to choose a static IP different from original machine. (here can also alter disk size)

and good to go.

1 Answer 1


VMware Converter lists Ubuntu as a supported source machine, so I would suggest using it to convert the server (from a VM to a VM) and edit the disk to the appropriate size during the conversion.


  • I attempted a copy with converter and it failed because my IPs have to be statically assigned, is there a way around this?
    – essefbx
    Aug 23, 2012 at 20:50
  • +1 about converter, it's quite a nice tool. Are you able to assign static IPs to the servers? I assume you do the conversion on a local network, so that should be easily possible. Just create a second (virtual) interface on each server, give it a static IP and use that for the conversion. If there's just a switch between the two servers then it doesn't even have to be the same subnet.
    – aseq
    Aug 23, 2012 at 21:41
  • Also I have to request IPs from the sys admin that maintains the servers that host my host, and then manually assign static IPs upon configuration of each machine. I was able to get around the IP conflict by copying the machine when it was powered off. But this means I was unable to adjust the size of the disk in the process... Also my test was a 16GB disk, the 500 GB disk will take 9 hours to copy, and I can't have the machine down that long. Is there a way to shrink the disk size while the machine is on?
    – essefbx
    Aug 23, 2012 at 22:27
  • Just today I did use the converter tool to convert a windows box. Whilst the source machine is powered on it does allow you to choose thin provisioning for the destination (which means it will not utilise all space at once), you can also choose to resize the partition(s) while its being copied over. The tool warns that may be slower due to file level transfer instead of block level.
    – aseq
    Aug 23, 2012 at 23:40
  • worked after I manually configured the static ip to a different ip, then repeated the cloning process to set it back up on the original ip. Ran into some random issues, like having to enable the root account in Ubuntu to connect to the powered on machine, and then needing to run converter as administrator on my local win 7, but it worked in the end.
    – essefbx
    Aug 24, 2012 at 19:12

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