Friday, 13 April 2012

Migrate/Convet VMs from Xen to VMWare

To migrate my Windows VMs I just uninstalled the Xen Tools from them and then used the VMWare Converter to migrate them as if they where physical machines.
However the VMWare Converter didn't worked so well with my Linux VMs and the converted VMs wouldn't even boot...

I've tried to export the VMs as OVF apliances from XenCenter but VSphere wasn't able to import them (although it works on the opposite direction)...

So in order to move my Ubuntu VMs from XenServer to VMWare, first I've installed an Ubuntu VM on VMWare with nothing but the base installation to be used as a template, then for each VM on XenSever I cloned this base VMWare VM and synced both using the following procedure:

Logged in as root on the source VM (on XenServer)

Uninstall Xen Tools
aptitude purge xe-guest-utilities
Generate a list of the installed packages
dpkg --get-selections > package_list
Copy the list to the destination VM (on VMWare)
scp package_list root@
Install every package from that list on the destination VM
ssh root@ "cat /root/package_list | sudo dpkg --set-selections && sudo apt-get dselect-upgrade"
Copy the users and groups files to the destination VM first to prevent errors during the sync
scp /etc/passwd* /etc/group* /etc/shadow* root@
Clear the network card name mapping by editing the file:
vi /etc/udev/rules.d/70-persistent-net.rules
and removing every network card entry (if any)

Copy everything from the source VM to the destination VM using rsync
rsync -avzlpEXogthe ssh --exclude 'fstab' /opt /var /etc /usr /root /home root@
Reboot the destination VM:
ssh root@ "reboot"
Stop the source VM:
and thats what worked for me.

Note that this should work to migrate any Ubuntu server from any hypervisor or phisical server to another...

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  1. Good job. Do you have the CentOS version of the step-by-step guide, especially the command equivalence? Thanks.
    Bawo Iyewo

  2. this tutorial might help someone as well:

    a different way of migrating xenserver vm to vmware when conventional ways do not work.