HOWTO: Clone a Virtual Machine using VMware

I have an Ubuntu Linux Virtual Machine running on my Windows system (using VMware) and a colleague wanted to do the same. However, rather than create a new VM and install a fresh version of Ubuntu and go through the motions of installing and configuring all the same development and testing tools, we decided to copy an already configured VM and see if the copy could be used intead.

This turned out to be a very trivial task and I would highly recommend it. Here is how we did it

  1. Copy C:\Virtual Machines\Ubuntu to C:\Virtual Machines\Ubuntu2
  2. From VMware, select File, Open and click the Browse button to locate the .vmx for the new VM (this file stores critical configuration information for the VM including the MAC Address of the Ethernet Adapter)
  3. To rename the new VM, click Edit Virtual Machine Settings, select the Options tab and change the Virtual Machine Name. Click OK.
  4. To start the new VM, click Start Virtual Machine and when prompted, select Create to create a new Unique Identifier for the new VM. This is a critical step as it breaks the association between the new VM and the one it was copied from, producing a new, unique MAC Address for the new VM.

Once the new VM boots, you should be able to log in and reconfigure the network as required and that’s it!

5 thoughts on “HOWTO: Clone a Virtual Machine using VMware”

  1. omg, the change of the MAC is the steepest step, why dont you break down this one??

  2. I’m not sure I understand your point. Are you saying that there is more detail I could have included or that the wording was midleading?

  3. Regarding LinusNoop: Two cloned VMs will have same physical NICs MAC addresses -> Change MAC address of clone to get them running in the same Ethernet broadcast domain.

  4. Pingback: Clone a Linux VM

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