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I'm planning on replacing my current host OS with a linux distro and then load the replaced OS as a virtual machine for apps that require Windows. Does anybody have a clue if something like this is possible and where to start ?

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The term in vogue for this process is "p2v"'ing (physical to virtual). – LawrenceC Jun 11 '12 at 17:29
up vote 5 down vote accepted

VMware provides vCenter Converter for free:

Automate and simplify physical to virtual machine conversions as well as conversions between virtual machine formats with VMware vCenter Converter. Use the intuitive wizard-driven interface of VMware vCenter Converter to transform your physical machines to virtual machines.

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If I am not mistaken VmWare Workstation has a built in feature to Virtualize a Physical Machine.

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