Unfortunately Oracle VirtualBox is missing virtual machine cloning tool. If you need to copy or clone a virtual machine without re installing OS and other applications, then you are in trouble with VB. This post explains how to copy and clone virtual machines in VirtualBox with CloneVDI GUI tool, a third party software.
VMware has great built in cloning tool, allows to make two types of cloning very quickly. Read more about it here.
Earlier I have published a similar post that cab be done in command prompt. It works well with ‘VBoxmanage’ command. I recommend to read the post before continue reading.
The CloneVDI tool does the same command execution but in Graphical user Interface (GUI).
Download Latest CloneVDI Tool 2.02 here.
Steps to Clone Virtual Machine in VirtualBox with CloneVDI Tool
1) Extract the downloaded zip file. Installation not required.
2) Before start the process, let me explain how it is going to work.
This tool clone the hard disk file only. So before start using cloned disk, you have to create a new VM with very similar configuration of original VM and attach the cloned VDI file.
This tool does not clone VM configuration XML file.
Snapshots files must be merged with original VDI file before using CloneVDI Tool. Why? if a Virtual machine have several snapshots and you are running the latest version of VM, then the original VDI file will have the system state before first snapshot created.
Here is the example, I’m going to clone Fedora Virtual machine which is having several snapshots. Hard disk details as shown below.
1– is the original disk VDI file which is having system state before any snapshots taken.
2 – is the disk file currently virtual machine is running.
We can’t clone the 2nd file, because it is not complete disk ( it is just a snapshot hard disk file).
if we clone the 1st VDI file, then we will not get the all changes done after first snapshot.
Then, how to proceed?
3) if you do not want the latest state of VM, then you are free to clone original VDI file. But if you want to clone current machine state, then delete all snapshots. Deleting snapshots will merge machine’s current state to original VDI file.
4) After removing snapshots, open CloneVDI.exe from extracted location and browse for VDI file you want to clone.
Make sure validation result shows Ok for disk. Each disk in VirtualBox Virtual media manager should have different UUID, so keep the ‘ Generate new UUID’ ticked. Increasing virtual disk size also possible with CloneVDI tool.
That’s it, Press Proceed button to start the cloning.
5) Progress runs as below.
6) Once successfully completed, create a new virtual machine with exact OS type and version. Other settings can be slightly different, such as memory size, processor cores, network type. Select existing disk option while creating hard disk and attach converted disk.
Its better to attach disk to same storage controller mode and type in new virtual machine to avoid issues.
Yes, Cloning virtual machines in VirtualBox with CloneVDI tool is very easy and straight forward. I’m sure this method will be useful to create multiple machines in VB without re installing everything.
I demonstrated these steps in Windows XP 32Bit host computer, let me know if you face any difficulties. Don’t forget to leave comments or subscribe to Sysprobs.