Cloning and Copying VirtualBox virtual machines

This article explains how to clone and copy VirtualBox VMs (virtual machines).

The techniques described in this article were tested on a Windows XP Pro SP2 host operating system using VirtualBox version 2.0.4. The details may vary if you use a Linux or some other host OS.


Cloning and copying VirtualBox VMs is not as straight forward or obvious as it is with VMWare Desktop and this subject has created a lot of confusion in the support forums. This is because:

  • There is no single VirtualBox command for VM cloning.
  • The documentation is vague.
  • A couple of the VirtualBox commands are poorly named.

The good news is that the underlying technology is just great and with a little understanding copying and cloning VMs is quite easy.

This article explains how to copy an existing VM containing an installed and configured guest OS. Before starting it helps to have a basic understanding of VirtualBox virtual machines. Continue reading