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6. Repair Linux > 86. Turn a Physical Machine into a VMware Virtual Machine

Turn a Physical Machine into a VMware Virtual Machine

Convert a running physical server into a VMware virtual machine with minimal downtime.

Virtual machines, particularly as supplied by vendors like VMware and projects like Xen, are being used more frequently these days even by your average user. When you need to test a computer, virtual machines allow you to create multiple virtual representations of a physical machine that you can more easily manage. In addition, virtual machine servers allow you to run a number of virtual servers on a single server to make more efficient use of power and other resources.

As you start to use virtual machines, you might find that you would like to convert a server that you already have running on a physical machine into a virtual machine. While there are a number of ways to achieve this, I’ve found a method using Knoppix that streamlines the process of virtualizing a server while minimizing downtime. For this hack, I am going to specifically talk about the process of converting a physical Redhat server into a VMware virtual machine, but many of the methods I use would apply equally well (with a few tweaks) to other distributions or virtualization technologies or even when migrating a machine from one hardware platform to another.


  

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