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I am getting a new laptop at work but I have had Ubuntu 9.10 installed on my old XP machine on vmware. I am guessing that migrating to the new machine would not be as easy as just copying the virtual machine files (vmdk, vmx, etc.) to the new PC? Would someone please let me know if that is the case or what are the steps I need to take to migrate to the new laptop carrying my Ubuntu installation along?

Note: the new laptop is almost identical to the old one, just rebuilt.

Thanks much!

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To clarify, are you trying to move the VM installation to be the main OS on the new computer, or just move it over to a VM on the new computer? –  nhinkle Aug 24 '10 at 21:59
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4 Answers 4

Just copy the vm files to the new PC and then install your VMware Player, Workstation or Server app.

First time you boot the VM client you'll be asked if you've copied or moved the client. Say moved and Bob's your uncle (as they say down under).

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  • if you need to move the VM from old HDD to a new one - just copy all the vmware files. It's ok - vmware is smart enough to handle it. You will need some OS installed on the new PC of course.

  • if you need to convert the vmware machine to a physical laptop - use Ghost For Linux or any other HDD imaging backup/restore software - like Paragon's products etc. You basically copy the VM's HDD onto a physical one that way. This is caled Virtual to Physical V2P - google it to see some howtos. "vmware V2P"

Ubuntu has good hardware autodetection and I hear is pretty robust and smart to autodetect hardware changes and handle them ok. People have to sometimes reconfigure the graphic cards drivers and maybe the sound to make things work. No serious issues I suppose - some googling and forums.. as usual :)

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Similar to transferring a Windows vm to a physical machine, you can image your Linux vm with an imaging program like G4L (Ghost for Linux) then restore it onto the physical machine. Boot from the G4L ISO in the vm and image your Ubuntu install to your media of choice. Install G4L to a CD and boot from it on the new laptop, then restore the image from your media.

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Yes, you can literally just move all the files to the new machine and you should be able to import them somehow. At the very least, you can create a new VM using the existing VMDK harddrive files.

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