What is recommended way of migrate from kvm to vmware in case of lvm based guest with multipathing? I found that similar questions were already asked few years ago:

How to migrate KVM based VMs running in LVM setup to Vmdk images

converting KVM virtual machines to VMware-vsphere

But the problem with vCenter converter is that base on documentation linux volumes mounted by device mapper multipath aren't supported. What is currently the proper way to proceed in case of multipath environment?

  • Wait, the VM is doing its own multipathing?! Oct 20, 2016 at 15:46
  • no, multipathing is in use on kvm host
    – joe33
    Oct 20, 2016 at 15:53
  • In that case, what is the problem? Oct 20, 2016 at 15:55
  • I was thinking that this is the case where it's not supported. So does it means that I didn't understood it correctly and it's completely fine to use vcenter converter as long as device mapper is in use on kvm host not on the guest host? If yes then then thanks you very much for clarification :)
    – joe33
    Oct 20, 2016 at 16:10

3 Answers 3


VMware converter can migrate from any source machine regardless of the source type. (virtual/physical/KVM/Hyper-V) The only trouble is VMware converter can't migrate software RAID or LVM. So the solution for this is to create a skeleton server with the bare minimum of the source machine and push everything with the tar command from the source server.

I had to use this solution, when I was migrating quite a few racks bare metal server to VMware and some had softraid or LVM installed.

Steps to follow for this:

1: Create your target vm box

2: Install a minimum version of the same system that your source has (network, ssh server and tar must be available)

3: Create a list of directorys we don't want to include

boot proc dev sys etc/fstab etc/lvm etc/blkid mnt/yourexternalhdd

save it under /tmp/nocopy

4: Take a snapshot of your target in case something goes wrong

5: SSH to your source and as root: cd /; tar -zcvpf - -X /tmp/nocopy * |ssh target "cd /; tar -zxvpf - --numeric-owner" 6: Reset target.


tar -zcvpf - -X /tmp/nocopy * | ssh [email protected] "cd /; tar -zxvpf - --numeric-owner"

  • Some extra updates regarding to XEN based source hosts. I had some trouble on Windows host where I could not pull down the source machine because few of them got stock at different percentage. The trouble was caused by the XEN tools. It installs VSS provider for the host and this interferes with the Windows VSS obviously and causing trouble to migrate the machine. So the best thing if you stuck at some point migrating a XEN based Windows machine is to get rid of the XEN tools from the source box.
    – Laz
    Sep 30, 2019 at 9:53

In order to convert the existing disk images to VMware’s vmdk format you should you use the program qemu-img from the package qemu-utils (in Ubuntu).

The process is straight-forward

sudo qemu-img convert -p -i DiskImage.img -O vmdk DiskImage.vmdk

vmkfstools -i /vmfs/volumes/nfs1/DiskImage.vmdk -d thin /vmfs/volumes/datastore1/MyServer/DiskImage.vmdk

Transfer disk image to ESXi (using scp (enable ssh in ESXi)) or NFS

Create new virtual machine with custom options and add the converted disk



If you have LVM volumes the fix of UUID will be tricky. So therefore here is some extra tweaks for you guys.

Create the skeleton machine as it was before, exactly the same as the source box. Then boot this machine with any kind of RescueCD, Ubuntu, Debian, CentOS, Rocky Linux you name it, don't matter, use your system as the the source is.

Then boot up the skeleton machine with the rescueCD and then connect the source box with this:

ssh user@host "sudo -S dd if=/dev/sdS bs=4M" | dd of=/dev/sdT status=progress

sdS is the source disk, you will get this info with fdisk -l In XEN this is most likely is /dev/xdva

and then the destination disk is this: /dev/sda if the destination system is ESXi. You can get this info with fdisk -l.

You also will need the user in the sudo. So add the user into sudoers file here: /etc/sudoers with this:

migrationusername ALL=(ALL:ALL) NOPASSWD: ALL

This is it. With this, you can migrate any Linux. Only issue with this is the image size, you cannot migrate thin, it will pull the whole image. So 100GB is 100GB.

But the only thing you will need to fix after the process finished is the ethernet adapter name, nothing else.

Ethernat adapter name will be either ens32 or ens192 instead of eth0. You can get the real name with "ifconfig -a". In Ubuntu this will be either in /detc/netplan/00-balblabla config file or if it is older than 16 then /etc/networking/interfaces.

CentOS: /etc/sysconfig/network-scripts/ifcfg-eth0 Change the ifcfg-eth0 to ifcfg-ens32 or whatever ifconfig -a says.

Also on CentOS you might need to fix /etc/udev/rules.d/70-persistent-net.rules file with the correct MAC address. CentOS and Rocky Linux change this file to mach the correct MAC address.

So rem out the old MAC and add the new MAC with the new ens32 or 192 or whatever address you have. After this you need to reboot the box otherwise it won't pick up the new MAC.

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