P2V will only work with Windows operating systems.
You will need ot use something like Ghost or Acronis TrueImage (I think that's what its called)
Here are some other ways to (manually) clone a physical linux box to VM.
Bootstrap a fresh VM with something like System Rescue CD - partition virtual disk to match physical machine (sfdisk is your friend). Make sure to give it enough disk space to accomodate the existing physical box.
Then use rsync to copy over the data from the physical box (be sure to skip /proc, lost+found).
This is somewhat risky since data could change during your copy, so shutdown services to minimize the chance of that.
Or you could use partimage to backup then do a bare-metal restore. Takes longer and requires to shutdown the physical box to get at the data, but more reliable than the method above.
Its Linux, why not just use dd
or even CAT the drive to virtual disk on remote NFS vm-helper...
delimiter: i tried yor rsync idea, but it results in a 'unable to mount root'
i have a old linux server which i'd rather not switch off
I want to clone it in vm-workstation
The server is physicly far away, so i need to clone it over the net
so dd will not work
dd works over the net. can also pipe it through gzip before sending over the wire.
You say you don't want to switch the server off, so why not just tar up the whole file system, ftp to new location and overlay on bare linux install. This works well for me (works on real hardware also).
How can i create an "NFS VM-HELPER"
You might want to try PlateSpin's PowerConvert (formerly PowerP2V) to perform the P2V process. It will be much more streamlined than doing a manual P2V.
The reason I suggested rsync over dd is that it's more flexible if you want to change the number &/or size of the partitions on the new (cloner) system.
Also you'll need the MBR from the system you clone.
It can be cloned like so. (Use at your own risk)
( ssh root@oldbox dd if=/dev/sda count=1 bs=512 ) | dd of=/dev/sda
I think the SystemRescueCD with partimage and partimaged could well help you out. See www.p2pi2v.org.uk for more details.
Ghost the Linux machine, "unghost" the image onto a virtual disk with a similar partition setup, boot into the Linux vendor's rescue mode and change the initrd to match the BusLogic SCSI.
This thread should prove useful: http://www.vmware.com/community/message.jspa?messageID=258887