Cloning a VirtualBox VM

Welcome to post 30 of my 100 day challenge. Checkout my introduction for some background.

In this article today we will discuss the process of cloning a VirtualBox VM.

Cloning a VirtualBox VM

Cloning is useful when you want to create identical copies of a virtual machine. It saves time as you can clone quickly instead of building a new VM from scratch. Please continue below for illustrated instructions for cloning a VirtualBox VM.

  1. Open up VirtualBox, right click on a VM and select clone.

    VirtualBox Clone

    VirtualBox Clone.

  2. In the Clone Virtual Machine window give the machine a name. I chose CentOSExamPractice2 but you can choose whatever name you want then check Reinitialize the MAC address of all network cards and press Next.

    Name and Mac

    Give VM a name and reinitialize MAC.

  3. On the Clone type screen choose Full clone and press Next.

    Full Clone

    Full Clone

  4. On the snapshots screen choose Current machine state and press Clone.

    Current State

    Current State

  5. VirtualBox should now go ahead and clone the VM and a few minutes later you should have another VM in your list.
    Virtual Machine List

    Cloned VM in list.



    There you have it. If you followed the instructions above exactly you should now have an identical copy of the VM you cloned that you can use for other things.

You will more than likely have to reinitialise the network cards as they will share the same MAC address due to one being a clone of the other. But if you are using a host only network or NAT configuration then you should be able to continue to use either virtual machine in any way you wish.

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Can you improve on any of the tips I’ve discussed here? If you can let me know in the comments.

Jason Edwards