Migrate Windows 2012R2 from Citrix XenServer to Nutanix AHV

NOTE: UPDATED VERSION IS AVAILABLE UNDER BELOW LINK Migrate Windows 2012R2 from Citrix XenServer to Nutanix AHV – Update

So far I have blogged out about:

And today, yet another migration post. this time how to Migrate Windows 2012R2 from Citrix XenServer to Nutanix AHV.

  • Installed XenServer tools on VM
  • Installed Nutanix virtIO drivers
  • Linux VM with qemu-img installed
  • username and password for local user with Admin rights to server
  • remove all snapshots from VM
  • basic knowledge about Citrix XenServer, XenCenter and Nutanix AHV is a must 🙂


  • Create new container on Nutanix AHV
  • Mount new container as NFS storage on Citrix XenServer
  • Move virtual machine disks to new storage
  • Stop VM
  • Log in to XenServer over ssh and:
    • run command: xe list-vm
    • note down VM’s name and UUID
    • run command:  xe vm-disk-list uuid=<vmUUID> 
    • note down UUID for VDI files

  • Log in to Linux with qemu-img installed – you can use either AHV host or some other linux box
  • Mount new container from Nutanix to linux host
  • run qemu-img and convert all disks from VHD to RAW format supported by Nutanix AHV
    command example: qemu-img convert -f vpc UUID.vhd -O raw output_file.img

Below example of converting 3 disks from VHD to RAW

  • Create new VM in Nutanix Acropolis, use
    • Operation: CLONE FORM ADSF FILE
    • bus type: SCSI
      Select RAW disk image

      Select RAW disk image


  • Take VM snapshot before you start it up
  • Boot Windows in SAFE MODE
  • In device manager, check in Show hidden devices and remove all devices when you can see XEN ir Citrix in the name
    Remove XenServer hardware from VM

    Remove XenServer hardware from VM


  • Reboot VM
  • Uninstall all drivers and software which are related to Citrix
    Uninstall all drivers and software

    Uninstall all drivers and software


  • Reboot server
  • Assign IP address to VM and you are done 🙂

VIDEO – Migrate Windows 2012R2 from Citrix XenServer to Nutanix AHV

Artur Krzywdzinski

Artur is Consulting Architect at Nutanix. He has been using, designing and deploying VMware based solutions since 2005 and Microsoft since 2012. He specialize in designing and implementing private and hybrid cloud solution based on VMware and Microsoft software stacks, datacenter migrations and transformation, disaster avoidance. Artur holds VMware Certified Design Expert certification (VCDX #077).

  • Joseph Tse

    Apologies first as I’m still new to nutanix. Where in the CVM do you access the vhd from the containers to run the qemu-img command?

    • you have to mount container as NFS to some linux server where qemu-img is. What AOS and AHV version you have ?

      • Joseph Tse

        AHV 4.5.1

        • 4.5.1 is AOS version, there is also AHV (hypervisor version) on main Prism dashboard – starts with 2015MMDD.
          Fairly new, so you could give a try and use our image service to do conversion for you. Do you know how to use image service on Nutanix ? With AOS 4.6 would be even better.

          • Joseph Tse

            AHV 20151109. I’m trying to run the qemu-img process through the cvm and I’m having a difficult time finding the vhd’s. I’m unfamiliar with the nutanix or your imaging service. Care to explain?

          • Sure, no problem. Where is VHD? on Nutanix or still in XenServer.
            Image service you can use to upload VHD into Nutanix, it is web based tool. Just log in to Prism, from action menu choose Image Service – it is very easy to operate. Let me know if you need more assistance. In regards of qemu-img – you have to mount container (as NFS storage) to server where qemu-img runs from. best way to use it is run quemu-img from Liniux standalone server, mount container to that server and run tool against.

          • Joseph Tse

            So I followed your instructions. 1. Created a container 2. Mounted the container to xenserver via nfs 3. moved the vm’s hd to the container. Now I’m trying to run the process from the ahv host but can’t seem to find the vhd in the filesystem. (ie not sure where the nfs share is physically located)

          • Good, now – you have to mount THE container to AHV as NFS, then you will be able to find you VHD.

  • Karan grover

    I have a question,
    why we need to uninstall xen driver or tool for AHV, it should be read bydefault nutanix virtio driver ??

    Can you please help on this ??

    • Hi Karan,

      I think there is a conflick between XenDrivers and Nutanix VirtIO. I was not able migrate server with both installed. When I removed XenTools – all went well.

      Let me know if you have more questions.