Clone and Sysprep VM without vCenter Server

When running vCenter Server, you can clone the VM and it will prompt you for new customization settings.

Without it… You will need to manually copy the VM files (or only the VMDK if you attach it to a newly created VM). Then run Sysprep to configure it and avoid duplicate SID.

  • Shutdown your VM and copy its files or VMDK to a new folder on the current or new Datastore. If you want to rename the VMDK file, copy it using “vmkfstools”.

Example :

vmkfstools -i /vmfs/volumes/server/server1.vmdk /vmfs/volumes/datastore1/cloned-server/server2.vmdk -d thin
  • Create a new VM and attach the cloned VMDK. If all files have been copied, just register the VMX file to the Inventory.
  • Boot up the VM and run Sysprep :
sysprep /oobe /generalize /reboot
Tips : You can use the switch /shutdown to turn it off after customization and then convert it to a VM Template if needed.
  • VM will reboot and ask you for customization settings.
Another and easier way to accomplish this task is to use VMWare vCenter Converter Standalone during the “Convert Machine” GUI. Or if you forgot it, you can do it through the “Configure Machine” GUI.




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