Converting Physical Linux to VMware ESX

parsero used Ask the Experts™
Hi, I currently have a linux server (Red Hat Enterprise 4) running some services and I need to virtualize this server. The server is a Dell Blade server.

I followed this procedure:

I have tried vonverting also directly with the converter standalone without connecting to the linux machine. I even tried to upload it with Acronis as a recovery machine and had the same error as another user:


it always fails at 1%. I don't know what is wrong. I am attaching the logs and the image of the converter when it fails. Hope someone can help
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Top Expert 2010

How large are the disks on the source physical machine. My concern is that if you have a drive larger than 256GB and the default 1 MB blocksize on your datastore it won't be able to create the disk.
Top Expert 2010
Found an article that describes your situation:

Do you have the latest version of converter standalone?

Here's how I fixed an issue I had with converting.  It was stopping at the /VAR partition.

The conversion process stops at the /VAR partition for a long time and then it fails.
•  FAILED: An error occurred during the conversion
The cause is because of a file called LASTLOG under /var/log.  There's a bug in the software that makes the conversion fail.
1.  ls -lh /var/log
2.  look at the LASTLOG file, it will show as 1.2T
3.  cd /var/log
4.  rm lastlog
5.  touch lastlog
other things to check:  converter-agent.xml file and check that KeepSparsefile is set to TRUE.


The disks are 136GB. I used both version 4.0 and 4.3 of the standalone. I am looking at Florescu's and bgoering's comment. I will let you know. Any other suggestions?


Bgoering, definitely I was able to convert with the advice you gave me. I had to install a ESX v4.0 in order to test it but now I am facing another issue... I booted up the machine and I see this error. Can you guys help me out? What should I do now?
Top Expert 2010
Take a look at this community thread and see if the process detailed there gets you on the right track.


have you tried clonezilla? since the vmware converter does not work, this should.

With clonezilla you can clone your physical harddrive directly as an image file (including MBR)

and later on Restore it on the virtual machine.

You should however make sure there is enough space on the virtual machine.

You can find clonezilla here:

go inside the maverick folder and get the iso

Burn it on a cd and restart your machine and boot from it.

after that follow the wizard on the screen since they made a GUI.

Keep in mind that you should save the "image" of your physical HDD in a place you can find it. examplewise a USB storage device.


Ok guys, problem fixed. It was as Bgoering said. First I had to use vSphere 4.0 instead of 4.1 and then I had to fix the linux boot ( which wasn't easy). The process in that post is not very detailed but worked it out. Thanks a lot to all for your help.

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