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What is the best way to add ESXi to a machine that already has an OS on it?


Harber1
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I currently have a server running Linux on one hard drive. I would like to install ESXi (on a new drive/flash drive) and then take the Linux distro and make it a VM on the same box.

 

The problem is once the machine boots ESXi, how can I convert the Linux distro over to make it a VM? From what I read the Linux distro needs to be running in order for VMWare converter to make it a VM.

 

Any thoughts on the easiest way to do this? My only thought so far is to take the Linux hard drive to another machine, boot it, and then do the conversion. Is there an easier way?

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Use a utility that creates a VHD or the ESXi equivalnt, install ESXI and re-attach the virtual drive and you should be good to go.

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I will tell you that I have tried the VMWare P2V (physical to virtual) converter with Linux.  I didn't have much luck with it.  I ended up installing a fresh linux install in ESXi and then copying my data over to it. I transferred the data to a NAS as the intermediary since I was in your same position of only having limited complete hardware setups.

 

I also did this using a poor version of backup using something similar to "sudo tar /* /nas/drive/folder/to/save/"  That worked OK and even booted when directly copied over the linux that had been installed in ESXi.  It did lots of complaining though since things like the drive UUIDs had changed.

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I have used DisktoVHD from MS and worked very well for me.  I took a heavily configured phyusical machine, converted it to a VHD, and mounted the VHD in a VM with no strain, no pain.  Pretty cool actually.  The only thing that did not work was of course things attached to USB.

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