Mini How To…. Install a Virtual Linux VM image to run on a Physical PC “bare metal”


Why you would want to do this?

I have being using Crunchbang #! Linux for some years. Unfortunately ,since Chrunchbang 9.04 it will not install my Dell Latitude C640 and CPx laptops and just hangs! This is not unique to Crunchbang, it in facts affects all Debian distributions including Ubuntu and appears to be some sort of bug in the installer.

Arch Linux installs fine on these laptops, but then this is not a Debian distribution!

Another reason why you may wish to use this How To.. is where you have configured the “Perfect PC” in a VM, but would now like to use it on a physical PC without having to go through the pain of starting from scratch.

What you will need:

  • A PC running Virtualbox or similar virtualisation platform. I use Virtualbox
  • The latest version of Clonezilla http://clonezilla.org/. I’ve used version 1.2.6-40
  • Either a NAS box or USB storage device to store the disk image. I will use FreeNAS

1. Install and configure a Clonezilla In your VM Manager, creating either an dynamically expanding virtual hard disk or fixed size.

DO NOT INSTALL Virtual Box Additions or similar as this will cause problems when installing the VM image.

2. Shut-down the VM, mount the Clonezilla ISO/ CD ROM in the virtual CD ROM drive and boot off the CD ROM.

3. Now follow my instructions Using Clonezilla with FreeNAS or Network Share to Backup a Hard Disk to backup the VM Hard disk as a disk image. We will use this to restore to the physical PC.

If you are using a USB hard disk instead of a NAS box, then when you get to the step “Mount Clonezilla Image directory” select the default option “local_dev” and then follow the onscreen instructions until you get to the “select mode” screen then revert back to the instructions in the blog and choose savedisk.

4. With the VM disk image created, insert the Clonezilla boot CD into the PC you wish to image and get it to boot off the CD.

5. Now follow the instructions in step 3, but this time, when you get to the “select mode” screen and revert back to the instructions in the blog, choose restoredisk. You will then be given a list of available images.

Select the image created in step 3 and follow the on-screen instructions.

6. Once Clonezilla has restored the VM disk image, reboot the PC. It should now boot up as it did in the VM.

Notes:

This solution should work for most Linux distributions. it will not work for Microsoft Windows VMs as Windows is hardware specific when it is installed and will probably “blue screen”!

Always use the latest version of Clonezilla, when I first tried this with a six month old copy of Clonezilla, the PC failed to boot!

On my particular set-up, the network adaptor on the destination PC was not detected  after the image was restored and required some minor reconfiguration.

This solution should work for most Linux distributions. it will not work for Microsoft Windows VMs as Windows is hardware specific when it is installed and will probably “blue screen”!
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