[qubes-users] P2V for Xen/Qubes?

Are there any tools out there that will convert a dd image of a physical machine into something that Xen (and therefore Qubes, with an HVM) will be able to boot?

That would allow people to migrate multiple systems onto one Qubes OS machine.


You can use a tool that converts a physical machine into some well known
VMM format, such as to VMWare Workstation VM format (VMWare Converter is
the name of such tool, IIRC), and then you can use qemu-img to convert
the resulting VM disk image file (e.g. *.vmdk) into the "raw" format,
which is the one used by Qubes for its VMs.

Once you have the final image (call it root.img), create a new
standalone VM (qvm-create --standalone) and then replace the root.img of
the newly create VM (/var/lib/qubes/appvms/<your-appvm-name>/root.img)
with the root.img you created in the steps above. Make sure the VM is
not running when you do that.

I tested this for VMWare VMs and it worked fine. Note: the VMs you
convert to Qubes should not have any custom VMM extensions installed,
such as VMWare Tools, or they might crash during boot.


A dd image of a disk is the same as the QEMU raw format. I have
successfully booted these under Qubes. Note that you need the whole
disk: MBR, partition table, and partitions; i.e. dd if=/dev/sda, NOT


If you’ve ever installed a Virtual OS it’s pretty straightforward for an HVM. It’s pretty much the same as with anything else. With the paravirtualization, you have volatile partitions in the virtual drive.