There can be a number of different reasons why you would want to clone a virtual machine. Maybe you want a quick way to create virtual machines with similar settings could be one.
Cloning and Copying VirtualBox virtual machines – VBox Clone
I need to create a second Windows Server 2012 machine in Virtualbox. Not only do I need to create one, I need it done yesterday.
Virtualbox has a “Clone” feature available, which is a perfect solution to our scenario. Cloning allows us to quickly make an exact copy of a virtual machine. You can also include the snapshots that are associated with the virtual machine.
From within Oracle VM Virtualbox Manager, right click the virtual machine you want to clone and select Clone.
For this example, we will be cloing Windows 2012 Server.
Name the new virtual machine. You might want to give it a descriptive name that seperates it from the original virtual machine’s name.
For this example, I am setting this machine up to be a Microsoft Exchange 2010 Server. Naturally, I will add the name Exchange to the name.
The next dialog window is wanting to know the type of clone: Full or Linked.
In this example, select Full Clone.
Next, we need to select whether or not we want to include any snapshot states that are available.
Select All States, and click Clone.
Now… we wait for a bit.
It says 1 hour, 8 minutes but it’s actually more like 6 minutes total.
If all went well, you should be back at your Oracle VM VirtualBox Manager with your brand-new and shiny cloned virtual machine.
Since I included all of the states associated with the original VM, I want to restore the earliest snapshot, before I added roles to the server.
Select the new virtual machine, then the snapshot that you want to restore to, and click the Restore Snapshot icon with the orange up arrow.
Next, make sure to uncheck Create a snapshot of the current machine state, and click Restore.
Finally, start the virtual machine up so we can make a couple tiny yet crucial configuration changes before putting into production.
We want to make sure we change two key configurations:
- Computer Name
- IP Address
With not many steps taken, we essentially installed a 2nd Windows Server 2012 without having to go through the New Virtual Machine Wizard, wait for the install, or download and install Windows updates.
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