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How to migrate a Linux computer to a virtual machine

APPLIES TO:
  • Parallels Server

Symptoms

You have a physical PC with Linux OS installed, and you want to migrate it to a virtual machine and run it as such.

Resolution

You can use Parallels Transporter to migrate the physical computer to a virtual machine. Parallels Transporter is available on our website in the Download section:

Parallels Server Bare Metal - Download Transporter Agent

Please check system requirements for Parallels Transporter Agent and make sure that your Linux OS is supported. Parallels Transporter does not support the migration of Linux logical volumes (LVM). If the file system is not supported, Parallels Transporter copies all disk sectors successively, and you may experience some problems with using the resulting virtual machine.

If your Linux OS is not supported by Parallels Transporter but is supported in Parallels Server, you can try the workaround below:

  1. On the source Linux computer, open Terminal.

  2. Type su - or sudo -s to gain root privileges.

  3. Run the command fdisk -l to get the disk device name. Example output:

    [root@localhost ~]# fdisk -l
    
    Disk /dev/sda: 34.3 GB, 34360123392 bytes
    255 heads, 63 sectors/track, 4177 cylinders
    Units = cylinders of 16065 * 512 = 8225280 bytes
    Disk identifier: 0x0004ebf4
    
      Device Boot      Start         End      Blocks   Id  System
    /dev/sda1   *           1          26      204800   83  Linux
    Partition 1 does not end on cylinder boundary.
    /dev/sda2              26        4177    33346921   8e  Linux LVM
    
  4. Attach an external USB drive, network share, or any destination with enough disk space for the migration. In our example, we use /media/USB_drive/.

  5. Enter the following command to make an image of the disk:

    dd if=/dev/sda of=/media/USB_drive/ResultingImage.hdd bs=65536
    

    Note: This workaround dumps the entire disk (/dev/sda), not just the slice (/dev/sda1 or /dev/sda2) where the Linux OS is installed.

  6. Wait for the dd utility to finish image creation (it may take time to dump the whole drive, depending on its size). Start Parallels Image Tool, select the ResultingImage.hdd file, and convert it to a new format.

  7. Create a Virtual Machine configuration file using New Virtual Machine Assistant in Parallels Server:

    • OS Type = Linux
    • Custom mode
    • Attach the ResultingImage.hdd file.
  8. Try to start the virtual machine.

Note: The .hdd file will be the same size as your real Hard disk, i.e., if you have a 250 GB hard disk where Fedora is installed, your resulting hard disk image will be 250 GB in size.




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