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How to migrate a Linux computer to a virtual machine

APPLIES TO:
  • Parallels Desktop 9 for Mac
  • Parallels Desktop 8 for Mac
  • Parallels Desktop 7 for Mac
  • Parallels Desktop 6 for Mac
  • Parallels Desktop 5 for Mac
  • Parallels Desktop 4 for Mac
  • Parallels Desktop 3 for Mac
  • Parallels Desktop for Windows & Linux
  • Parallels Transporter
  • Parallels Workstation 4.x Extreme
  • Parallels Server 4.0 for Mac
  • Parallels Server 3.0 for Mac
  • Parallels Server 4.0 Bare Metal
  • Parallels Server 4.0 for Mac Bare Metal

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 always available on our website in the Download section:

Parallels Desktop for Mac  - Download Transporter Agent
Parallels Desktop for Windows and Linux - Download Transporter Agent
Parallels Server Bare Metal - Download Transporter Agent
Parallels Server for Mac - 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 Desktop or 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

You can see that the disk where the OS is installed is /dev/sda (we are migrating the whole disk, not just the slice /dev/sda1/ or /dev/sda2/).

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 Desktop/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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