I'm looking for a safe option for taking an image of my machine cuz I'm in a place where I cannot risk trying anything isn't safe and the machine must be up and running. For example, clonezilla looks a good option but I haven't tried it before and I cannot risk booting from a live CD on the same machine.

On my previous post: Take an Image of a Physical Machine using VMWare Converter Standalone - Options diabled

I'm looking for a solution for the issues I came across with VMware Converter or any other suggestions. In this post I want to ask you guys what do you think of the following idea:

  1. Creating a virtual machine of Ubuntu using VMware Workstation.

  2. Backing up my folders of the origial server using backintime-gnome http://backintime.le-web.org/

  3. Restorung these folders on the new VM


Well... You did not like my previous answer? ;)

Still you should provide us with more details about your partitions:

df -h|grep /dev/

Using complex software doesn't make the process more safe. Linux is about combining the most simple software to do the most complex tasks.

Having that in mind, I show you how to do exactly what you want but with basic software:

  • create empty disk image fallocate -l (max disk size)G disk.img
  • partition image fdisk disk.img
  • create loopback device for image kpartx -a disk.img so we can access the partions
  • format partition mkfs.ext4 /dev/mapper/loop0p1
  • create mountpoint mkdir /media/mountpoint
  • mount /dev/mapper/loop0p1 /media/mountpoint
  • copy all files from source system to image sudo cp -a (TODO?) / /media/mountpoint/
  • umount /dev/mapper/loop0p1
  • delete loopback device kpartx -d disk.img
  • TODO: install grub to image
  • convert image to vmdk qemu-img convert -f raw -O vmdk disk.img disk.vmdk

I will go into more detail if you approve you want to try this solution and provide more info on your partitions.

This will only require 2 times the space as your system really occupies, not of the disk size. In the vm you first have to boot a linux live system to install grub and make the disk bootable.

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  • Sorry I just saw your answer and replayed providing more information. Thanks a lot! – Shadin Mar 27 '15 at 16:51

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