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Hi I have an Ubuntu operating system on one computer and windows server 2003 on the second computer. I will like to create a virtual Linux on my windows system ...
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  1. #1
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    Copy the linux entire system to virtual Linux “machine” on windows sys


    Hi
    I have an Ubuntu operating system on one computer and windows server 2003 on the second computer.
    I will like to create a virtual Linux on my windows system with the exact Linux system of the Linux computer (copy past of the Linux operating system + data).

    The reason for doing it is – we (at the company) have on the Ubuntu a server (UDP server + MySQL DB). Soon we will need to move to a new server on windows system and we want to keep the old server for backup, but we want to keep only the Linux software and to “release” the computer hardware (we don’t want to copy the files…we want all the operating system). I know… it Sound stupid…

    Is it possible to do it?
    If so, what is the main step for doing this?

    Thanks,
    BTW, I have very poor knowledge on Linux…

  2. #2
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    SquashFS

    Well, it depends on how your Linux system is set-up.

    If it were me, I would use "mksquashfs" and perform the following steps:
    1. Reboot the old Linux system using a Linux live-CD so you can work with disks without disturbing a working system.
    2. In the LiveCD OS, mount the important partitions of the hard disk, which are usually the "boot" and "root" paritions (and are sometimes the same partition). If you have other important directories are stored into other partitions, like "/opt" or "/var", you probably need to copy these as well.
    3. Use a "mksquashfs" to create an image for every mounted partition that you want to copy. The images must be stored on the Linux system's hard disk, on a partition that is not being used, like a USB flash disk.
    4. Then, transfer these squashfs images to your new host operating system (Windows).
    The squashfs image you create can be mounted READ-ONLY in your Linux virtual machine. If read-only is good enough, then you can just tell your virtual machine to use these squashfs images as the boot and root filesystems.

    However, if your Linux needs boot and root to be writable, you need to copy the contents of the squashfs image to the virtual disk.
    1. Launch your virtual instance of Linux using a LiveCD image and mount the empty virtual disks images.
    2. Also mount the squashfs image.
    3. Use the "rsync -a" command (should be included in the LiveCD OS) to copy the entire contents of the squash filesystem to the writable virtual disk filesystem.
    This will populate the writable virtual disk for the virtual Linux with a copy of the original Linux system.

  3. #3
    drl
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    Hi, .

    Welcome to the forum.

    You seem to imply that you know Windows better than Linux. Assuming that's true, you may be familiar with Norton Ghost. I have used it to clone an entire Windows machine from one machine to another across a network. Which leads to:

    Well, now there is an OpenSource clone system (OCS) solution called Clonezilla with unicasting and multicasting! -- Clonezilla - About
    I used Clonezilla a few times to evaluate it for backup, but it did not know how to handle software RAID1, so, while it did work, it did not do so efficiently.

    I don't know if it will work across a network, but it may be worth considering, especially if you understand the purpose and workings of Ghost.

    Another tool is Acronis. It is proprietary, but it claims that it knows how to handle Linux filesystems: Complete hard disk recovery solution, backup, drive copy, clone and image computer software

    I used Acronis a few times for backup. I liked it because it could image Windows without shutting down and re-booting (I assume it used a Windows feature like copy-on-write).

    Best wishes ... cheers, drl
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  5. #4
    oz
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    Quote Originally Posted by drl View Post
    Another tool is Acronis.
    Welcome to the forums, Gershia!

    I've used the one above suggested by drl a number of times in the past and it worked great. I no longer use it, but use FSArchiver or Clonezilla (linux apps) in it's place. If you want something that is native to Windows, I'd recommend at least giving it a free trial to see if it fits your needs.
    oz

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