How to migrate a QEMU – KVM image to a Physical Machine(PC)

Virtualization and cloud services are great!  Everyone wants to move services to web space, but little is written about migrating to physical hardware.  Even though virtualized environments are ideal for labs(at least from cost and organization stand point).

Open Source QEMU-KVM provides an excellent set of tools through libvirtd/virt-manager.  I use virtualization for test lab environments and creating virtual upgrades for my customers.  The main benefit is that I can test 90% of their Asterisk PBX without touching the production system.

In the past, I used several boxes with removable drive bays.  There are many problems with this setup and I’m sure many of my readers will agree with the conclusion: that test labs can get messy and can hinder work. Other engineers, will frequently need the lab equipment, or hard drives(with important experiments) go missing.

Sometimes test servers get cannibalized for parts when there is an emergency.  Then consider the cost of the hardware and electricity.  Luckily, one Intel i7 with 8G of RAM can easily manage three or four Linux guests.  The conclusion I came too is that virtualization is the most effective way to get around these problems.

My hardware specs:

Fedora 14
8 Gigabytes DDR3
Intel(R) Core(TM) i7 CPU  860  @ 2.80GHz

What you need:

– QEMU-KVM image
– Linux Boot CD or USB stick
– DVD, USB, BD-r or external drive of some kind

This tutorial is to help system administrators migrate server images(created from virt-manager) from the virtual realm to a PC for production use.  I’m assuming that the reader has basic knowledge of Linux, QEMU, KVM, and virt-manager.  Before you begin, test that the image contains necessary drivers for any proprietary hardware.

Goals of this Post:
– Export QEMU-KVM image to a physical machine
– Resize VM Image to take up to fill harddrive space

Written by mattb in: Linux | Tags: , , , ,