Using VMWare Convertor

I've been reading more the past day or two about VMs (Virtual Machines). I've been wondering about things like:

a) Running production machines in VMs ie running multiple different OSs, on one physical machine, simultaneously.
Note: This is a strange, and yet fascinating concept to me, because of the fact I have been running one OS per physical  machine, for decades.

b) Moving an OS from a VM to a physical machine ie bare metal.

I've been installing and testing software products inside VMs for a couple of months now. The ability to "test drive" a given application, or OS, without affecting my computer, is powerful. If you don't like the given application or OS, you can simply delete the VM.
So, what IF I like the application or OS, and I've spent a lot of time configuring it in a VM? How about moving it to a physical machine?

c) Moving existing installations of a OS, and all its carefully configured applications from a physical machine to a VM?
I have an old web server, which has been up and running for over 10 years. It has served me well for quite some time, although it is starting to show signs of wear. It is time to put the hardare out to pasture, or possibly re-purpose the hardware to be a desktop.

How do we move the current installation of the OS to a VM?

 Tonight I stumbled across a software product called VMWare Convertor. Supposedly (I have yet to verify all this) you can run this stand alone application, and convert a machine, running on bare metal, to a VM. Or vice versa. Sounds interesting, doesn't it?

The documentation for VMWare Convertor (VC) is a little confusing. It says it can be installed on Windows or Linux. And yet, when I went to the VMWare Web Site, created an account, and logged in, it appears the current 5.x version only installs on Windows.

I looked a bit further on the download page, and I found the slightly older version of VC (4.0.1) has a Linux installer.
So.. I downloaded that. Here are my notes for installing it.

In the file manager I created a directory in my Downloads dir called "VMWare Convertor" and moved the download file into the dir.
I then opened a terminal window, and did the following:

cd Downloads
cd "VMWare Convertor"

sudo su
tar xvzf VMware-converter-4.x.x-xxxx.tar.gz
cd vmware-converter-distrib

After responding to a few prompts, I encountered an error. More Googling.. here's what I found I needed to do:

mkdir -p /etc/vmware-converter/ssl
touch /etc/vmware-converter/ssl/rui.crt
touch /etc/vmware-converter/ssl/rui.key

I then ran the setup program again, and this time it installed.

Note: at the end of the installation, it said:

The installation of VMware vCenter Converter Standalone 4.0.1 build-161434 for
Linux completed successfully. You can decide to remove this software from your
system at any time by invoking the following command:

I wanted to capture that, and put it here, so in case it doesn't work out, I know how to remove it.

Update: I clicked the icon to run VC in my Linux Mint menu, and nothing happened. More Googling told me this tool runs on 32 bit Linux. I am running 64 bit, so I needed to install the 32 bit support with the following command:

apt-get install ia32-libs

This downloaded a LOT of libraries (about 250 MB). After the libraries were installed, I attempted to run VC again. This time it complained about a server which was not running on the local machine. More Googling.. I found a reference that said to re-install VC (probably because I didnt have the 32 bit libraries installed at the time). So I used the uninstall command noted above, and reinstalled VC. This time when I clicked the icon to run VC, it actually popped up with a user interface! ok.. now maybe we are getting somewhere..

to be continued..