Kernel Panic Using VMware vCenter Converter Standalone

Successful P2V Conversion

I use the VMware vCenter Converter Standalone frequently to migrate physical machines to my VMware cloud.  One error that I get frequently after a successful conversion of CentOS 5 system is:

Kernel Panic Using VMware vCenter Converter

Kernel Panic after using VMware vCenter Converter Standalone

Kernel Panic after using VMware vCenter Converter Standalone

Without fail, this error has always occurred when I have attempted to convert a CentOS version 5 physical box using the VMware vCenter Converter Standalone that has been using logical volumes.  To get the destination virtual machine to work, you will have to configure the VMware converter to migrate these logical volumes to physical disk devices ( A bit ironic no?  Going P2V and changing the disk layout from V2P!).

Determining if you are using logical Volumes

Most linux systems are by default using logical volumes.  You can tell by simply doing a quick df on the system:

df -h //dev/mapper/VolGroup00-LogVol00                       29G   14G   13G  52% /

In the example above you see the device that the “/” filesystem is mounted on is a logical device.

Problem Resolution

The key to resolving this problem is to go to the “Destination Layout” tab of the “Data to Convert” settings.  You will have to click the blue “Advanced” link to get to this specific view that you see below:

Changing the disk partitions from logical volumes to physical disk references in the VMware Converter.
Define the VMware Disk Layout

Define the VMware Disk Layout

Be certain to change the Type to “Thin” and then use the “To basic” button.  With these settings in place, your logical volumes will be converted to what the Operating System will consider logical partitions although they will truly be VMware logical volumes.

Rerun the P2V Using the VMware vCenter Converter Standalone

I then re-run the conversion using the VMware vCenter Converter Standalone again.  This has always resolved the above problem for me.

Other VMware vCenter Converter Issues

I have also found issues from time to time when the version of the physical CentOS 5 box had not been updated in quite some time.  The last time I had such a problem, my CentOS version was 5.7:

# cat /etc/redhat-release
CentOS release 5.7 (Final)

Update CentOS Prior to Conversion

It is always a good practice to update your CentOS prior to conversion:

# yum update
Loaded plugins: downloadonly, fastestmirror
Loading mirror speeds from cached hostfile
* addons:
* base:
* epel:
* extras:
* updates:
Setting up Update Process………

Let the update run to completion.  It should get you to the latest, greatest version of CentOS version 5:

# cat /etc/redhat-release
CentOS release 5.9 (Final)








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Jeff has 20 years of professional IT experience, having done nearly everything in his roles of IT consultant, Systems Integrator, Systems Engineer, CNOC Engineer, Systems Administrator, Network Systems Administrator, and IT Director. If there is one thing he knows for sure, it is that there is always a simple answer to every IT problem and that downtime begins with complexity. Seasoned IT professional by day, Jeff hopes to help other IT professionals by blogging about his experiences at night on his blog: You can find Jeff on or LinkedIn at: LinkedIn or Twitter at: Twitter

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5 comments for “Kernel Panic Using VMware vCenter Converter Standalone

  1. Oleg Olshanechky
    March 19, 2014 at 2:33 am

    Hi Jeff,
    I have the same issue when try to convert Physical machine with CentOS release 5.5 installed on it, to VM for ESXi 5.1.
    While power up new VM I see fails in mounting and kernel panic, the exact same as in this article.
    df -h command on my CentOS machine provides following info:
    /dev/mapper/VolGroup00-LogVol00 221G 27G 183G 13% /
    /dev/sda1 99M 12M 82M 13% /boot
    tmpfs 2.0G 0 2.0G 0% /dev/shm

    Tried to change the Type to “Thin” and convert again. the same fault result with kernel panic.
    What can I try to resolve the issue?
    Best Regards,
    Oleg Olshanechky

  2. March 19, 2014 at 8:14 am

    The important part of the solution is not to use thin partitions, it is to convert from LVM to basic using the “To Basic” button. The VMWare converter doesn’t work well with CentOS LVM. I have also found that by updating the latest releases of 5 it can help too.

  3. David Ash
    August 6, 2014 at 4:08 pm

    I had the exact same error/kernel panic and this was the exact fix. Thanks for putting this out there, Jeff!

  4. Vinicius Trivinho
    December 7, 2015 at 10:09 am

    It worked for me!! Thanks so much!

  5. Eric
    December 23, 2016 at 6:00 am

    What is working 100% all time :

    boot on RH CD : linux rescue
    then :
    chroot /mnt/sysimage
    next rebuild swap partition :
    mkswap /dev/sysVG/swap
    and rebuild initrd image :
    cd /boot
    mv initrd*.img initrd…..img.bck
    /sbin/mkinitrd -v /boot/initrd…..img `uname -r`
    and that’s ok !

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