Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Citrix XenServer P2V

An interesting feature of the Citrix XenServer install CD is the option to execute a physical to virtual (P2V) migration. Having significant experience with VMware Converter, I thought I'd use this to create a VM from a Windows XP instance sitting on a drive that I never use. From my point of view, it would be a legal version of XP, though I'm sure Microsoft's lawyers would argue otherwise.

The first shot at P2V failed with a message specifying a partition error with /dev/dm-5. My immediate concern was that the USB multi-card reader was causing trouble. I disconnected it, and tried again with the same results.

A little research found a completely unexpected result. Turn out Citrix P2V only works on Linux, and not Windows. Looks like the old NTFS patent issue. Further, it only works on "older" Linux, somewhere in the Fedora 8 and before range. The problem doesn't seem to have anything to do with USB, but instead the way the migration tool interprets the device mapper.

I decided to hold off on further use of Citrix P2V, for the time being, but am continuing research on doing a manual P2V of that Windows instance.


  1. Found this too, the Citrix P2V program lacks a lot of the functionality of the VMWare version.

  2. Citrix has a program with Xenserver called "XenConvert" which works with windows.