How to Clone or Copy a virtual machine in VMware vSphere Hypervisor ESX/ESXi 4.x or ESXi 5.0
This Tutorial covers a very basic and common question asked on Experts Exchange, “How Do I Clone or Copy a virtual machine in VMware vSphere Hypervisor ESX/ESXi 4.x, ESXi 5.0?”
Using the following method, no third party tools are required or need to be installed, other than the VMware vSphere Client.. The VMware vSphere Client is used to manage a VMware vSphere Hypervisor ESX/ESXi 4.x, ESXi 5.0 host server. This procedure can be used when connected directly to the host server or VMware vSphere vCenter Management Server.
1. Connect to the VMware vSphere Hypervisor Server
Using the VMware vSphere Client, login and connect to the ESX/ESXi server, using the IP address or hostname of the ESX/ESXi server, using the root username and password credentials. If you have a VMware vSphere vCenter server, you could also specify IP address or hostname of the vCenter server which manages your ESX/ESXi servers.
2. Select and browse the datastore
Once connected to the server, the VMware vSphere Client will display the following inventory of the VMware vSphere ESX/ESXi server.
Right Click the datastore datastore1 and select Browse datastore. All VMware virtual machine files are stored in the datastore.
3. Select the correct virtual machine folder
The Datastore Browser will open and show the contents of the datastore. The virtual machines are stored in folders.
4. Create a destination virtual machine folder for the virtual machine clone or copy
Select the root (/) of the datastore, and click the New Folder icon to create a new destination folder for the new virtual machine clon or copy..
5. Select and Copy Virtual Machine files
Before you can CLONE/COPY the virtual machine files the Virtual Machine needs to be POWERED-OFF.
Double click the virtual machine folder you need to clone/copy.
6. Register the cloned/copied virtual machine with the Inventory
Select and Right Click the virtual machine VMX file.
Follow the Add to Inventory Wizard, make sure the name is different and unique, it must be different to the original virtual machine name. This is just a friendly name for the inventory, it does not change the name of the name of the virtual machine OS.
Enter a Inventory Name followed by Next
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