How to migrate containers from LXC to Incus

Incus provides a tool (lxc-to-incus) that you can use to import LXC containers into your Incus server. The LXC containers must exist on the same machine as the Incus server.

The tool analyzes the LXC containers and migrates both their data and their configuration into new Incus containers.


Alternatively, you can use the incus-migrate tool within a LXC container to migrate it to Incus (see How to import physical or virtual machines to Incus instances). However, this tool does not migrate any of the LXC container configuration.

Get the tool

If the tool isn’t provided alongside your Incus installation, you can build it yourself. Make sure that you have go (Go) installed and get the tool with the following command:

go install

Prepare your LXC containers

You can migrate one container at a time or all of your LXC containers at the same time.


Migrated containers use the same name as the original containers. You cannot migrate containers with a name that already exists as an instance name in Incus.

Therefore, rename any LXC containers that might cause name conflicts before you start the migration process.

Before you start the migration process, stop the LXC containers that you want to migrate.

Start the migration process

Run sudo lxc-to-incus [flags] to migrate the containers.

For example, to migrate all containers:

sudo lxc-to-incus --all

To migrate only the lxc1 container:

sudo lxc-to-incus --containers lxc1

To migrate two containers (lxc1 and lxc2) and use the my-storage storage pool in Incus:

sudo lxc-to-incus --containers lxc1,lxc2 --storage my-storage

To test the migration of all containers without actually running it:

sudo lxc-to-incus --all --dry-run

To migrate all containers but limit the rsync bandwidth to 5000 KB/s:

sudo lxc-to-incus --all --rsync-args --bwlimit=5000

Run sudo lxc-to-incus --help to check all available flags.


If you get an error that the linux64 architecture isn’t supported, either update the tool to the latest version or change the architecture in the LXC container configuration from linux64 to either amd64 or x86_64.

Check the configuration

The tool analyzes the LXC configuration and the configuration of the container (or containers) and migrates as much of the configuration as possible. You will see output similar to the following:

user@host:~$ sudo lxc-to-incus --containers lxc1
Parsing LXC configurationChecking for unsupported LXC configuration keysChecking for existing containersChecking whether container has already been migratedValidating whether incomplete AppArmor support is enabledValidating whether mounting a minimal /dev is enabledValidating container rootfsProcessing network configurationProcessing storage configurationProcessing environment configurationProcessing container boot configurationProcessing container apparmor configurationProcessing container seccomp configurationProcessing container SELinux configurationProcessing container capabilities configurationProcessing container architecture configurationCreating containerTransferring container: lxc1: ...Container 'lxc1' successfully created

After the migration process is complete, you can check and, if necessary, update the configuration in Incus before you start the migrated Incus container.