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How can I use dd command on a Linux Red Hat Server 5 to obtain a disk image and then use it eventually in Virtual Box?

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2 Answers 2

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Haven't tested this myself but this is how I have understood it to be possible.

Live boot to server and mount big enough external hard drive where you can store image. Image server's hard drive:

dd if=/dev/sdX bs=4k conv=noerror,sync of=/mount_point_of_extHDD/serverIMG.dd

Then let's zero out unused blocks:

file /path/to/serverIMG.dd

Check startsector value in file command output, multiply it by 512. There is your "offset" value. Mount image:

mount -o loop,rw,offset=<counted_value_here> -t <partitions_filesystem_type> /path/to/serverIMG.dd /mnt/tmp
cat /dev/zero > zeroes.file
rm zeroes.file

Then unmount the image. Boot into machine where you have virtualbox installed so you can modify raw image to vhd:

VBoxManage convertfromraw serverIMG.dd serverIMG.vhd --format VHD
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VirtualBox - convert RAW image to VDI

dd if=/dev/sdb of=./sdb.raw

To use it with VirtualBox we need to convert it to the VDI format:

$ VBoxManage convertdd sdb.raw sdb.vdi --format VDI

OR

$ VBoxManage convertdd sdb.raw sdb.vmdk --format VMDK

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