3 Replies Latest reply on Aug 9, 2013 10:21 AM by NetManOne

    When shall I use linked vs full VM clones?

    ahmd9 Enthusiast

      I've seen documentation for the Full and Linked virtual machine clones, but I can't seem to fully understand when I should use one over another. I see that the full clone creates a copy of the VM, but what about the linked one -- does it mean whatever I do in one VM will be reflected in another? That doesn't make sense to me...

      Can someone give a couple of specific examples when they'd use full vs. linked VM clones?

        • 1. Re: When shall I use linked vs full VM clones?
          WoodyZ Guru

          ahmd9 wrote: I've seen documentation for the Full and Linked virtual machine clones

           

          Was this page 21 in Using VMware Workstation (PDF) or Cloning Virtual Machines Using Linked Clones and  Using Full Clones?

           

          I'd also suggest reading the section in the User Manual on Snapshots so you have a better understanding of the Linked Clone since it is predicated on the use of Snapshots.

           

          It should be obvious from the documentation that a Full Clone is an independent copy of an existing Virtual Machine and what is done in a Full Clone, with the exception of WPA or other Software PA, has no bearing on the Virtual Machine from which it was cloned.  Note that one must still conform to the OSes EULA in that each copy one makes, one needs to have the appropriate number of licenses as applicable to the OS.  In other words, e.g. with Windows OSes, you may not make more copies of the installed OS then what is allowed by its EULA and the type of Product Key one has.

           

          A Linked Clone is a Snapshot Branch of the Parent Virtual Machine and is dependent on it not changing or the Linked Clone becomes orphaned.  Each separate Linked Clone that is a direct offshoot of the original Parent Virtual Machine is independent of each other.  Meaning that If I create a Virtual Machine and then create two Linked Clones directly from the original Virtual Machine then what I do in one Linked Clone does not affect the other Linked Cloned.  So e.g. installing any given application in one Lined Clone does not also install it automatically in the other Linked Clone and if one want that same application in the other Linked Clone then one must also install it there as well.

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          • 2. Re: When shall I use linked vs full VM clones?
            ahmd9 Enthusiast

            You know it's an interesting point about licensing. For instance, is it allowed to download an evaluation copy of Windows, test it for 90 days (or whatever the period is) and then uninstall it and at some later time download another evaluation copy, test it for another 90 days, uninstall it again and so on? If the answer is yes, then what difference does it make to make a snapshot of the clean installation of Windows and then reset it to that point after 90 days? Just curious...

            • 3. Re: When shall I use linked vs full VM clones?
              NetManOne Novice

              IMHO, that is a legal vs logical question

               

              what is important to the legal folk may not be to technical users