I have a Linux (Fedora 23) box which has among other things VMware workstation installed. I'd like to create a virtual clone of the physical Linux box, so I can run it in VMware workstation in order to test some upgrades before upgrading the physical box.

I've looked at the VMware Standalone Converter but it will only p2v a Linux system to an ESXi infrastructure (which I don't have).

Is there any way I can make a clone of the physical system, so I can spin it up as a VM?

To be clear the upgrades I want to test aren't to do with VMware, so I won't be running VMware workstation on the VM.

I know there are other options, but I'll have to re-partition the box to create a dual boot, and I'd rather not do that if I can avoid it, and creating a VM clone seems like it would be the easiest and most flexible for me.

  • You could copy the entire disk image with dd. For that you would need to boot some kind of live system, connect an extra disk bigger than the disk you want make the image from (since you will need the image to be a regular file). And try to use that image as a disk image fro VMware. I'm not sure whether WMware would accept that as a disk through. – grochmal Jul 2 '16 at 18:43

VMware's documentation claims that it can target VMware workstation (using the converter running on Windows). Here's the corresponding link:

Converting a physical machine for Fusion, Workstation, or Player using Converter Standalone (2005129)

The change history cites

02/12/2014 - Updated for Workstation 11.x

which is recent enough that you "should" be able to use the information. Bear in mind that VMware's main platform is Windows.

For applications running on any platform, it can help to identify which version you are running. The VMware Compatibility Guide does not list Fedora as a supported platform, and (making allowances for similar versions), the Red Hat releases for which it cites support are generally several years old, with the exception of Workstation 10 and 11 which are supported for RHEL6 and RHEL7. Fedora23 is newer than either by a few years (considering the actual versions).

Given enough information about what you have, someone can advise you on what features are available (and possible workarounds).

  • Thanks for the reply, but when running the converter (I tried with two different versions), once I've scanned the source maching and the converter has identified it as Linux then the selector for the destination type is fixed at ESXi, and doesn't allow the option to choose Workstation. I did a google for that and found a reference to the documentation where it stated that the only valid target for a physical Linux system is ESXi. :-( – Martybartfast Jul 3 '16 at 10:25

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