New XCP-NG lab install - esxi vm migration


We have decided to create a new Lab setup using XCP-NG. I have watched the many videos detailing the installation and setup process. It is all very exciting!

I have a question about migrating our existing lab vm’s currently running in esxi v 5 for the hypervisor with Nexenta Server providing the vmdk and associated vm files in NFS datastores. What is the best way to migrate our existing vm’s?
(we also have a number of vmdk’s within the NFS datastore that were previously mounted within running virtual machines that we need to mount to consolidate within the new vm’s, they are not OS disks, just storage - so we just need to access the contents to move those files into new locations within the new vm’s).

  • we can access the vm’s either via esxi OR directly from the Nexenta NFS datastores
  • I have read about Xen conversion tools, but they no longer appear to be available.
  • the vm’s do not have to be running, and we are able to accomodate downtime.
  • we have not been running the full licenced vmware suite because we did not elect to maintain their increasingly costly licensing

Our new network/server setup will be:

FreeNas running on server hardware with zfs, and exposing NFS storage

2 Physical hypervisor servers running XCP-NG each with local storage for vm’s

Can anyone suggest the best path to accomplish the esxi migration?



You can uninstall the VMWare tools from the OS then use cloning software to copy them over to XCP-NG.

Thanks Tom,

I have the VMWare tools removed.

What cloning software and where would we act on the datastore/files?

  • what I mean is that I can expose the vm and it’s datafiles in different ways, in the vmsphere interface, via the shell, by accessing the nexenta nfs store…


Just boot off the ISO of the cloning software as if it was a physical machine.

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I have been told, but have not tried, that you can boot the source VM into Clonezilla and the destination VM into Clonezilla, and copy across the network.

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Yup, Clonezilla and many other tools support network cloning.

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It should also be possible to use the VM converter from Microsoft to convert the VMDK to VHD(x). I did this several years ago when migrating from VMware to Hyper-V. Worked very well. Most recently converted two of those VMs from VHDX to VHD to migrate to XCP-ng.

I must be doing something wrong, I couldn’t get a VHD or VHDx created with disk2vhd to import into XCP-NG. I haven’t tried in almost a year because the one I really need in an XP image and that is no longer supported in current XCP-NG. Running it in a Virtualbox on a win10 client for right now (old software driven).

I should probably give the disk2vhd another try and see if I can figure out what I did wrong in XCP-NG.

Thanks for all the input so far, what a great and responsive forum!

The clonezilla source target boot vm option is worth trying. I was hoping that I could find a solution that accessed the nfs stores directly and thereby decrease the dependency of working through 2 hypervisors as well as the vm’s contained. Perhaps conversion depends on not only accessing the virtual disks but also the underlying vm configuration support files. Ideally I can find software that can work directly with the NFS stores in the same manner as the hypervisor employs to mount the virtual disks so that I could do an NFS to NFS transfer. (I am thinking that being able to do this ongoing as a process for all my managed vm’s would be more efficient with less effort since the NFS stores expose the virtual disks already).

In the meantime I will complete the clonezilla approach and report back with results.


I do have a video on “How To Convert Physical Servers to Virtual Using Disk2vhd With XCP-NG & Xen Orchestra” which might be some help as well.

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