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atjensen11 5th September 2008 16:54

Virtualizing a Physical Ubuntu Server
Now that I have a Xen host server up and running, what is the best way to move a physical machine over to the Xen host?

I have seen that there is the migrate command. But that appears to move a VM from one host to another.

I thought maybe it is as simple as just copying the folders over one at a time. But I am not sure that would work since I would imagine the /boot folder would be different. Then there are differences in hardware between the two machines as well.

Any suggestions? Otherwise, I will just have to build a similar setup as a VM and move the data files over.


falko 6th September 2008 12:53

To be honest, I've never tried to virtualize a physical machine with Xen...

atjensen11 6th September 2008 17:56


Does that imply you have never tried to virtualize a physical machine (i.e. you always perform clean builds) or that you haven't done it with Xen (i.e. you use another virtualization platform)?

By the way, I have to say I really appreciate this site and the effort you put into it. I check it daily for updates and the help here is better than any other forum I have used.


falko 7th September 2008 18:13

I've tried it with VMware (see ; works for Windows only), but not with any other virtualization solutions.

atjensen11 13th September 2008 06:01


I have seen the utilities in VMware to convert physical machines to virtual machines.

I guess I was thinking something more simple like just creating a VM in Xen with the default Ubuntu install. Then, I could copy the various folders (/boot, /home, /usr, etc) from the physical machine to the virtual machine.

Does anyone think this method has any possibility of being successful?

falko 14th September 2008 18:58

I think it could work.

Brianaustin2019 1st October 2008 10:26

greetings, heres my first noob post.. hope its reasonable..
What I would try is to be using physical disk partitions for the xen machine you want to create, not files on the existing filesystem.

so create partitions of the right sizes for your virtual box. maybe you dont have disk spare? maybe loopback devices would be ok to use (I havent tried xen on loopback devices)

then you mount the partitions you just created in the right config under /mnt

so for the xen box, mount the / partition in /mnt
then the /var partition under /mnt/var

etc etc

then you chroot into /mnt

then you install the xen kernel you want so badly for it to work, setting up grub menu, initrd etc etc

then you exit the chroot, dismount the partitions

and try xm create virtualbox


falko, if you had $1 for every time I hit your page on debian kernel compile, youd be rich, lol...

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