#4 : Migrating Tups to Mops

The following is my condensed version of the article Physical to container from OpenVZ Wiki.

See also my blog entries: 2011-05-20 2011-05-21


tups is an old machine that has been serving a few websites for over five years. It has 40 GB of hard disk space, 256 KB of RAM. The OS is currently a Debian Lenny.

Now I bought a new machine (500 GB hard disk space and 1 GB of RAM), installed Proxmox on it and want to migrate tups to a container on this machine.

Note: the terms “Virtual Machine” and “Container” are equivalent.

In our LAN, tups is running on, the new Proxmox server on

The ProxMox web interface is accessible at Using VM Manager ‣ Virtual Machines ‣ List ‣ Create I created a “dummy” container with ID 101.

Manually creating a VM using a dummy

We have a dummy VM with ID 101 and want to create a second VM with ID 103 that will contain mops, the successor for tups.

cd /var/lib/vz
mkdir root/103 private/103

cd /etc/vz/conf
cp 101.conf 103.conf
nano 103.conf

The web interface would now show the new container, but of course we cannot yet start it since it is empty.

Copying the data

We are going to execute the following twice: a first time when tups is still running, and a second time “for real” (when tups is stopped).

I log into the Proxmox server using ssh root@

I start a first rsync which takes about 5 hours at the first run (and much less at subsequent runs):

# cd /var/lib/vz/private/103
# rsync -arvpz --numeric-ids --exclude=/dev --exclude=/proc --exclude=/tmp -e ssh root@ ./
sent 7440467 bytes  received 27367553246 bytes  1456310.35 bytes/sec
total size is 32426725913  speedup is 1.18
rsync error: some files could not be transferred (code 23) at main.c(1524) [generator=3.0.3]

The errors are normal since I didn’t stop the services for that first run.

If I’d now try to start mops at the web interface, I’d get quite somme error messages at the init log. The raw copy of tups is not able to live in a VM environment, it needs a few manual adjustments. The following instructions are copied and adapted from the Proxmox documentation.

  • A container does not have real ttys, so you have to disable getty in /etc/inittab (i.e. /var/lib/vz/private/103/etc/inittab):

    cd /var/lib/vz/private/103
    sed -i -e 's/^[0-9].*getty.*tty/#&/g' etc/inittab
  • The /etc/mtab of mops must be replaced by a sympolic link to /proc/mounts:

    ln -sf /proc/mounts etc/mtab
  • Since you do not have any real disk partitions in a container, /etc/fstab (or most part of it) is no longer needed. Empty it (excluding the lines for /dev/pts, /proc, /sys and such):

    mv etc/fstab etc/fstab.old
    egrep '/dev/pts|/dev/shm|/proc|/sys' etc/fstab.old > etc/fstab
  • Remove udev’s persistent net rules:

    rm etc/udev/rules.d/70-persistent-net.rules
    rm etc/udev/rules.d/75-persistent-net-generator.rules
  • Copy complete /dev directory from the previously created dummy host:

    mv dev dev.old
    cp -R ../101/dev .

Now it’s time to start the container, either using vzctl start 103 at the command line, or clicking the start button in the web interface. Apache runs.

The definitive copy

Stop most services (but not ssh) on tups:

# /etc/init.d/exim4 stop
# /etc/init.d/mailman stop
# /etc/init.d/apache2 stop

# /etc/init.d/postfix stop
# /etc/init.d/postgresql stop
# /etc/init.d/mysql stop
# /etc/init.d/samba stop

The second rsync on proxmox takes much less time. It undoes of course all my adjustments:

rsync -arvpz --numeric-ids --exclude=/dev/ --exclude=/proc --exclude=/tmp -e ssh root@ /var/lib/vz/private/104/

Redo all adjustments, then start mops in the Web interface. check the init log. Try to log in to mops using ssh::

ssh root@

Disable services that are no longer needed on a VM: for SERVICE in checkfs.sh checkroot.sh console-screen.sh hwclock.sh hwclockfirst.sh lm-sensorsudev udev-mtab keymap.sh do

update-rc.d  -f SERVICE remove