Hot convert Freebsd 7 to VM on vCenter (P2V)

Last week I had to virtualize an old Dell PowerEdge R200 running FreeBSD 7.4-RELEASE-p10 i386.

As usual I tried to use VMware vCenter Standalone Converter but unfortunately in this case didn't worked.

Local application logs says:

[...] received error code (2) with result: ./vmware-sysinfo-lin32: 1: Syntax error: "(" unexpected [...]


After some research it is clear that FreeBSD 7 is not supported by the converter, so i have found another way:

1) I've create a new VM on the vcenter with the same disk size of the physical server.

2) I've booted the installation DVD of FreeBSD 10.2 and opened a Live session

3) i've setup the networking:

ifconfig em0


4) i've started a netcat listener:

nc -l 6666 | dd bs=16M of=/dev/da0


5) On the Physical Machine:

#dd bs=16M if=/dev/sda | nc 6666


Beware that traffic is clear between hosts but if you are in a LAN it is probably ok.

On the fist attempt I've tried to compress the traffic to increase the performance but using old hardware it performed worst.