What are Clones?

The copy of the existing virtual machine (parent) is called as a clone. Installing and configuring a virtual machine is time consuming, the clone allows a virtual machine to be copied or duplicated without performing a new installation all over again, this can save a lot of time. Once the cloning is completed, the cloned Virtual machine will be a separate copy of the existing virtual machine. Changes made on the parent VM does not reflect on the clone and vice versa. The UUID and the MAC address of both the parent VM and the clone will be different. Whenever you need to deploy identical virtual machines, clones are the best option. There are two types of clones,

  • Full clones
  • Linked clones

The independent copy of the virtual machine which do not share anything with its parent virtual machine is called as a Full Clone.  The full clone doesn’t use its parent’s virtual disk. The performance of full clones are better than that of linked clones. The creation of full clones take more time and requires more disk space than linked clones.

The linked clones are the copy of the virtual machine where it shares its parent’s virtual disk. Linked clones can be easily created. A linked clone is disabled, if it doesn’t have access to its parent. Linked clones makes it possible to share a virtual machine between the users in a local network.

VMWare workstation version 10.0.1 build-1379776

Guest OS: Ubuntu 14.04 LTS 

Note: I assume that you have already installed and configured your guest OS. The process for cloning is same for any guest OS.

Open VMWare Workstation > Click on VM on the menu bar. From the drop down menu click Manage > select Clone


The Clone virtual machine wizard appears. Click on next to continue.


You can make a clone from the current state of the virtual machine. Else if you have a snapshot, you can clone from the existing snapshot. I have chosen the first option as I don’t have any snapshots. Click next.


Select the type of clone you need to create. I have selected full clone as I need an independent copy of my virtual machine.Click next.


You can name your new cloned virtual machine. Specify the location where you need to store your cloned virtual machine. Click finish to complete cloning.


Note: Choose an appropriate disk which has enough space to store your cloned virtual machine. In case of full clone, if your parent VM is 20GB, the clone will also need 20GB of storage space.

Wait until the cloning process is completed. This might take a few minutes.


Once the cloning is completed, click on Close.


Your clone virtual machine is created successfully and will be listed in VMWare workstation. It will be identical with origin virtual machine.



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