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Migrate from Linux to Xen with Rsync.

I decided to write this little guide to provide the relatively simple steps needed to migrate your linux system to a Xen (HVM) virtual instance.

It is assumed that on your source and destination boxes, that you only have one root “/” partition. If you partitioned out your file system differently, you will have to accommodate that based on these instructions.

The following steps walk you through the process of migrating linux to Xen from start to finish :

1. Install the exact same version of linux on your destination server
This isn’t really 100% necessary, obviously. You could always boot into Finnix, partition your disk and install Grub. If you are uncomfortable doing that, install the distribution from start to finish. The file system will be overwritten anyways.

2. Boot into finnix on the destination system
If you have never used Finnix, it is a “self contained, bootable linux distribution”. I like it alot actually and have used it for similar purposes, rescue operations and the like.

3. Setup networking on both destination and source systems
If both systems are on the same network, you could assign local IP addresses to ensure the process of synchronisation is speedy and unobstructed.

Ensure you configure networking either way and that you set a root password and start ssh :

4. Mount the partition that you want to copy to on the destination server
Remember, so far everything you are doing has been on the destination server. Mount the destination partition within finnix :

5. On the source server, rsync all the files of the source partition to the destination partition
When logged into the source server, simply issue the following rsync command and direct it to the destination server’s partition you just mounted :

The rsync process will complete and the partition on the destination server should be ready to boot into. Remember to change the networking configuration if you dont want any IP conflicts to happen.

I hope this helps!