Migrate Debian 9.3 VirtualBox VM to Linode

According to https://www.linode.com/docs/platform/disk-images/migrating-a-server-to-your-linode/ it's possible to "You can even migrate virtualized servers created with products like VirtualBox or VMware.".

That's exactly what I want to do. I have a Debian 9.3 VM from VirtualBox which I would like to host on a Linode server. However, I haven't found much that explains how to actually do it.

Does anyone here have any pointers for me? Thank you very much.

1 Reply

Hey @KoolKoala

I'm sure there may be a few different ways out there but here is what I've done in the past.

1. Prepare your Debian VirtualBox image

  • You'll want to ensure you have openssh is installed
- apt-get install openssh-server
- systemctl start ssh.service
- systemctl enable ssh.service

2. Download and boot from Finnix(In VirtualBox)

  • Download Finnix here (Click the "x86/AMD64")
  • In VirtualBox go to Settings --> Storage --> Click Empty --> Click the CD icon, and then select Choose a virtual CD/DVD disk file --> Select your Finnix ISO, and then click OK--> Boot your VM.

You are now in Finnix!

3. Now begin to prepare your Linode.

  • Create a Linode
  • Create a configuration profile
  • Create your new Disks
  • You will want to create 1 ext4 disk and 1 swap disk (size of the EXT4 disk has to be big enough to accommodate the data on the VM)
  • Go back to your configuration profile --> Under Block Device Assignment assign the EXT4 disk to sda and the swap to sdb --> Save changes

4. Begin the data transfer.

[email protected]:~# passwd
Enter new UNIX password:
Retype new UNIX password:
passwd: password updated successfully
[email protected]:~# service ssh start
[*] IMPORTANT: The 'root' and 'finnix' accounts have been disabled, and
[*] passwords for these accounts must be set for remote administration.
[*] Please be sure to use 'passwd' to set a password after sshd is started.
[*] Generating SSH2 RSA host key... done
[*] Generating SSH2 DSA host key... done
[*] Generating SSH2 ECDSA host key... done
[*] Generating SSH2 ED25519 host key... done
[*] Starting OpenBSD Secure Shell server... sshd done
[email protected]:~# mount /media/sda

Your Linode is now ready to accept the image :)

  • On your VM, boot it into Finnix and execute the same steps but instead add a '1' at the end of the mount command like so: [email protected]:~# mount /media/sda1
[email protected]:~# passwd
[email protected]:~# service ssh start
[email protected]:~# mount /media/sda1
  • On the VM run this command to begin the data transfer:

rsync -avz /media/sda1/ [email protected]$linodeip:/media/sda/

  • Once that completes, then you will want to edit your fstab to look similar to this:
# /etc/fstab: static file system information.
# Use 'blkid' to print the universally unique identifier for a
# device; this may be used with UUID= as a more robust way to name devices
# that works even if disks are added and removed. See fstab(5).
#<file system> <mount point>   <type>  <options>       <dump>  <pass>
proc /proc proc defaults 0 0
/dev/sda       /       ext4    noatime,errors=remount-ro 0     1
/dev/sdb       none    swap    sw      0       0

Boot up and you should be good to go :)

I ran into an issue where with networking on first boot, I was getting this error:

[FAILED] Failed to start Raise network interfaces.

I ran ip a and found that my eth0 interface was named enp0s3: instead of eth0. To resolve that, I ran the command below and rebooted which fixed it:

ln -s /dev/null /etc/udev/rules.d/80-net-setup-link.rules

Hope that helps!


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