Tag Archives: virt-p2v
This video shows using the GUI to import a virtual machine from VMware to RHEV-M. It performs the conversion using virt-v2v, which is responsible for installing virtio drivers, fixing the bootloader, and so forth.
Thanks Arik Hadas. Now I just have to fix the epic RHEL 7.2 bug list — 57 bugs at last count 😦
There is one brand new tool, virt-log. And I rewrote the virt-v2v and virt-p2v tools. These tools convert VMware and Xen guests and physical machines, to run on KVM. They are now much faster and better than before.
As well as that there are hundreds of other improvements and bug fixes. For a full list, see the release notes.
Libguestfs 1.28 will be available shortly in Fedora 21, Debian/experimental, RHEL and CentOS 7, and elsewhere.
There haven’t been too many updates around here for a while, and that’s for a very good reason: I’ve been “heads down” writing the new versions of virt-v2v and virt-p2v, our tools for converting VMware and Xen virtual machines, or physical machines, to run on KVM.
The new virt-v2v [manual page] can slurp in a guest from a local disk image, local Xen, VMware vCenter, or (soon) an OVA file — convert it to run on KVM — and write it out to RHEV-M, OpenStack Glance, local libvirt or as a plain disk image.
It’s easy to use too. Unlike the old virt-v2v there are no hairy configuration files to edit or complicated preparations. You simply do:
$ virt-v2v -i disk xen_disk.img -o local -os /tmp
That command (which doesn’t need root, naturally) takes the Xen disk image, which could be any supported Windows or Enterprise Linux distro, converts it to run on KVM (eg. installing virtio drivers, adjusting dozens of configuration files), and writes it out to
To connect to a VMware vCenter server, change the
-i options to:
$ virt-v2v -ic vpx://vcenter/Datacenter/esxi "esx guest name" [-o ...]
To output the converted disk image to OpenStack glance, change the
-o options to:
$ virt-v2v [-i ...] -o glance [-on glance_image_name]
Using v2p to get around Oracle support contracts
Problem: Oracle won’t support the database in a virtualized environment. If you report a bug, they’ll ask you to reproduce it on a supported (ie. physical) machine.
Wrong solution: We’ll run Oracle in a VM. When we run into trouble, we’ll use a V2P tool to convert the virtual machine to a physical machine!
Why this is wrong: Conversion involves copying the disks, ripping out device drivers, adding new device drivers, fiddling with configuration files, doing resize ops on filesystems, and reinstalling the boot loader. These are (a) slow, (b) very intrusive, and (c) liable to break. This is all a recipe for turning a small disaster (ie. my database is down) into a very big disaster (my database is still down and the hairy support “solution” took 6 hours and didn’t work).
Good solution: Oracle are probably right that you shouldn’t try to run your database virtualized. But assuming you want to ignore that advice, put your database and its files onto a separate SAN LUN. When you need support, detach the LUN from the virtual machine and reattach it to a physical machine. This operation should be instantaneous and doesn’t involve any modification of the data.
Using p2v and v2p to test upgrades
Problem: It’s not easy to test an upgrade on a production physical machine.
Wrong solution: Virtual machines let you snapshot, test your upgrade on the snapshot, and if it’s bad you just throw away the snapshot. Therefore to test our upgrade, we’ll convert the physical machine to virtual (P2V), do the test, and if it works we’ll convert it back to a physical machine (V2P)!
Why this is wrong: Conversion involves a slow disk copy and a very intrusive set of modifications to the configuration. P2V followed by V2P is not a symmetric operation that leaves you with an identical machine. More than likely it’ll simply break the machine, and if it doesn’t, then drivers could be less than optimal after the conversion. Plus (unlike with virtualized environments) your physical machine is a one-of-a-kind system, and if you break it with a hairy set of P2V and V2P operations you can’t just roll back to a previous snapshot.
Good solution: Virtualize your workloads! If you don’t want to do that, use a filesystem like btrfs/ZFS that lets you do cheap snapshots, or use the snapshot feature of your SAN. In any case, always arrange your production environment so that you have a staging mirror on which to do tests before you deploy anything to production, and have a tested back-out plan.
Using multiple v2v steps
Problem: We don’t have a conversion tool that can do (eg.) Citrix Xen to KVM in one step.
Wrong solution: We found something on the web that can do Citrix to VMware, and Red Hat have a great tool for doing VMware to KVM, so we’ll just run one after the other!
Why this is wrong: Conversion involves a large set of intrusive changes on the guest such as installing device drivers for the particular target hypervisor. Doing this in two steps means you go through two rounds of intrusive changes to your guest, and it’s unlikely that anyone has tested both together. Most likely it’ll break, or leave your guest with conflicting device drivers.
Good solution: Sorry, but at the moment there isn’t a good solution, but that doesn’t mean you should use the bad solution. It could be your best bet is to reinstall the guest from scratch on the target VM.
I have built latest virt-p2v and virt-v2v packages for Fedora 14, 15, 16 and Rawhide. These are highly experimental and may not work, but please help us to try them out.
For virt-p2v you have to run
virt-p2v-image-builder. For more details see the virt-p2v and virt-v2v home page.
If you find problems, join us on
#libguestfs on FreeNode, or post to the virt-tools mailing list.
I’ve added a virt-p2v and virt-v2v page describing the new version and where to get all the sources etc.