P2V (virtualise) Linux box with VMware Converter

For those you who are looking for the comprehensive details steps of how to P2V a linux box with VMware Converter.

Pre-requisites: Have the Linux installation Boot CD1 handy. You should purchase VMware Converter Enterprise license.

1. Download VMware Converter Enterprise latest version and burn it to the CD. I used version 3.0.2 update 1.
2. Boot up with the above VMware Converter CD on the physical Linux box.
3. Let the WinPE load up and watch for the Network adaptor settings screen. Make necessary changes such as IP addressing.
4. Finally you should see the VMware Converter screen where you can import the machine.
5. Click on Import machine button and follow the steps.
6. Important Make sure you select all disks and no resizing during the import process.
7. If all the information is entered correctly, it should start importing to ESX/VC.
8. It will create a VM on the selected ESX server.
9. In my case it failed at 97% where the error occurs at customization steps (which I did not configure for) but after successful copy of the local disks.
10. Go to the ESX server where the imported VM resides. Edit the settings.
11. In the VM’s settings, check any irregular settings which might appears. In my case, I had to change the OS type of VM from other 32bit to REHL 4.
12. When the VM is powered up for the first time as soon as P2V has finished, kernel panic will occur and it is just as expected.
Steps to fix the kernel panic on the Linux VM
13. Boot up with the bootable Linux installation CD 1. If it doesn’t boot from the CD, you may have to change the VM’s setting to go to the BIOS setting on the next boot so that you can change the boot sequence.
14. At the boot: prompt type Linux rescue and hit enter.
15. It will search for the Linux partition. In my case, it could not find the hard disks. So, I had to go back to VM’s setting to change the BusLogic SCSI controller to LsiLogic.
16. After changing to LsiLogic controller, Linux installation image was able to find the Linux partitions on the VM.
17. The system will give you opportunity to mount the root file system. At the linux prompt, type: chroot /mnt/sysimage and hit enter.
18. It will get you back to the prompt. Now at the prompt type: kudzu and hit enter.
19. It will ask you to remove old hardware and detect and install new hardware. Follow the instructions.
20. After exiting from Kudzu, at the prompt type: ls /lib/modules and take note of the version/image. For instance, your active linux version is 2.6.9-5.ELsmp. Take note of it.
21. After that you will need to make new RAM disk as follows.
22. Type /sbin/mkinitrd -v -f /boot/initrd-2.6.9-5.ELsmp.img 2.6.9-5.ELsmp
23. Reboot.
24. After the reboot, it should successfully boot up without any kernel panic.
25. If you still see the kernel panic, then go back to step 20 and find the correct module and repeat the steps 22 & 23.
26. After you have booted the system successfully, determine if it is working as expected.
27. Install VMware Tools.

The steps from 13 to 24 should take about 20-30 minutes. This procedure should be the same for most Linux distributions. Hope it will help on your P2V of Linux boxes.


Categorised as: Linux/OSX, VMWare/ESX

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.