How to P2V SUSE Linux Enterprise Server

by Eddy on

Running p2v on Suse Enterprise server is not straightforward especially for windows folks. I read vmetc article on P2v SLES but that didn’t provide me enough details on how to do P2V on Suse Linux Enterprise server (SLES). In my lab i had to convert a physical server running Suse Linux Enterprise server 10 (SLES) on HP Proliant DL580 so i started searching online and stumbled onto vmetc article for doing P2V Suse Linux. According to Suse Linux P2V some customer used VMware Live Converter CD that was unusable so they had to use Ghost imaging on the physical server, and restored that image to “bare metal” VM , but they encountered some error like volume not mounted or something like that . In my attempt to complete a P2V on Suse Linux Enterprise error i didn’t noticed any Kernel panic or volume not found error but error was exactly like this

“resume device /dev/sda1 not found (ignoring) ”

“waiting for device /dev/sda2 to appear”

I am not sure how old that P2V SLES article is but VMware Converter now called VMware vCenter Converter has fixed lot of bugs and resolved various P2V related issues. If you want to convert Physical machine to Virtual machines you can download VMware vCenter Converter from VMware site ( . There are two different version of VMware converter – Started Edition (Free) and vCenter Converter Standalone Enterprise Edition). In my SLES p2v conversion i used standalone Enterprise vCenter Converter. The Current version of VMware P2V standalone converter is based on WinPE. VMware Converter provides an easy-to-use, scalable solution for migrations of machines, both physical to virtual and virtual to virtual On my SLES physical host I have used P2V cold converter, conversion worked fine make sure you follow I have successfully converted P2V using VMware Converter using following steps:

Pre-requisites for SUSE Enterprise Linux (SLES 10) P2V using VMware vCenter Converter:

VMware vCenter Converter (Standalone Enterprise ) CD – Version 3.0.3

Suse Linux Enterprise Server (SLES 10) DVD/CD

1. Boot the Physical SLES 10 Linux host using VMware vCenter Converter for P2V.

2. Let the WinPE load up and watch for the Network adaptor settings screen. Make necessary network setting changes –use dhcp or static ip addess and make sure you can access VMware infrastructure server from P2V converter screen.

3. On VMware Converter screen click on “Convert machine” to start the P2V converter process.

4.Make sure you select convert all disk and maintain size option and not resize to save or add space.This is important step the other option didn’t worked for me so in my successful P2V conversion i used convert all disk and maintain size.

5. Enter VMware infrastructure hostname, login information and select appropriate destination template for SLES server.

6. Once P2V conveter step completes Edit settings to make BIOS changes to boot the SLES using SLES10 installable CD/DVD. Select Power on the SLES VM and select “Linux rescue” option to boot the Suse Linux Enterprise server virtual machine into rescue mode. I missed this step and got into “waiting for device /dev/sda2 to appear” error but didn’t notice any kernel panic error.

7. Select Rescue login: root and run cat /proc/partitions to find the SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 10 disk devices. Ignore type 82 which is Linux swap partition, for finding root partition mount the /dev/sad1 on /mnt and look for file listing /etc , /root. If you can see these partitions you are good.

8. Mount the SLES /root partition on /mnt directory and run chroot for accessing file with root privileges.

#mount /dev/sda1 /mnt

#chroot /mnt

9. Edit the /etc/sysconfig kernel file and look for INITRD_MODULES to replace Physical server SCSI driver to Bus Logic :

INITRD_MODULES=”mptspi reiserfs dm_mod”


INITRD_MODULES=” BusLogic reiserfs dm_mod “

Save the changes.

Change ip address in /etc/sysconfig/network folder to ip address you want to assign to SLES P2V host.

10. So far so good, in last step you have to rebuild the initial ram disk to update the driver changes we just did in last step.

Go to /boot directory and save a copy of initrd file not the link file, initrid is the link for initrd file

#cp –p initrd-version-default initrd-version-default.preBusLogic


Once you are done reboot the VM and your P2V converted SLES Linux will come up without any errors :-).Red Hat has pretty good documentation on doing P2V on RHEL 4/5 Linux server in their Knowledge base, i have done several successful P2V conversion on RHEL5 server running on HP DL servers onto VMware ESX. Probably i will add RHEL 5 Linux P2V steps in here.

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