ENG/GER Importing an physical Ubuntu-Server into Proxmox


New Member
May 27, 2021
German below:

Hello guys,

is it possible to import an existing physical Linux Server (Ubuntu 10.04.4 LTS) into Proxmox?
And if it's possible to virtualize the machine into Proxmox, what would u recommend me, to import it in the best way?

I know it's an old system, but very important.

Thanks in advance.

Kind regards

Hallo zusammen,

ich wollte fragen, ob es möglich ist einen exitstierenden physikalischen Linux Server (Ubuntu 10.04.4 LTS) in Proxmox zu virtualisieren?
Wenn es möglich ist den Server zu virtualisieren, was würdet ihr mir empfehlen, um den Server bestmöglich zu importieren.

Ich weiß es ist ein alter Server, aber es handelt sich dabei um ein wichtiges System.

Vielen Dank im Voraus.

Freundliche Grüße
principally thats easy, if your linux knowledge is fine.
* create new machine in pve
* boot this machine into a live system like grml and create and mount the filesystems (lets say to /target)
* give the machine a temporary ip, set password for root and start ssh service

* on the physical machine stop all services
* rsync / to the new maschine's /target
be aware of several rsync params like -numeric-ids, --one-filesysystem, exclude probably c/sys etc depending on your fs layout

on pve guest
* when finished, make missing folders proc sys tmp
* bind mount /dev to /target and install grub
* make changes to fstab reflecting your eventually new layout
* change interfaces to your old settings

* shutdown or disconnect the old machine and reboot the new virtual

its easy though many strings attached.
tools like clonezilla can help you if you are not that fit with linux
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Wouldn't it also be possible to dd the physical disk into an img and import it as a raw disk into a VM?
Wouldn't it also be possible to dd the physical disk into an img and import it as a raw disk into a VM?
you can do this. clonezilla is more effective (just copying existing data) and makes misc changes for you. dd can take much longer than clonezilla.

rsync method is with least downtime. you can even run several rsyncs in advance with running services. only the last/final rsync must be done with services stopped to be consistent. migration is then a matter of seconds (as you can even test start the new vm disconnected to see if it boots correctly)
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Hey pvps1,

thanks for your help. The duplication into Proxmox worked good, Clonezilla is a perfect tool and rapidly fast. The only thing is, that it isn't possible for Proxmox to boot the system from the disk, I try to fix bootloader, but maybe u know this issue and have a solution for it?

Booting a cloned target is always a trick, since the MBR and grub setup tends to break between source and target when you're doing filesystem rsyncs. What I've done in the past is boot both the source and target from a rescue cd, enable their networking, then use dd | netcat to copy the source raw block device to the target's raw block device (ensuring the target VM's vdisk is of sufficient size.) Since this is doing a bit copy of the entire block device, it will generally boot on the target without issues.

something like (assuming the source machine only has one drive to be cloned):

source machine:
dd if=/dev/sda bs=1m | netcat target-ip 54321
target vm:
netcat -l 54321 | dd of=/dev/sda bs=1m status=progress

I've used the System Rescue CD for this process for years.
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