Ron_Rosenkoette
Contributor
Contributor

No virtual center - how to copy a VM?

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So I'm building out a single ESX 3.5 host server at my new company to show them (partly) what VMware can do. My boss and I plan to get Virtual Center and a second server after a while. For right now though, all I have is the single ESX host server.

So I build a VM. Get it all perfect. Sysprep it. Shut it down. Right-click on it, and there's no option to copy or clone the VM?? Am I missing something really basic? Or do I really have to go to the command line and use vmkfstools (or the datastore view) to make a copy of this VM?

I'm going to assume I'm the idiot here, and VMware didn't actually leave out a simple copy VM command from their $5000 piece of software.

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Dave_Mishchenko
Immortal
Immortal

Good news - you're not the problem. You have to spend another 5K on VirtualCenter to get the ablitity to clone in the GUI. To do it without VirtualCenter take a look at this article - http://kb.vmware.com/kb/1000936. Between step 2 and 3, I usually edit the VM and delete the HD that was just created for the VM. For my vmkfstools command I can then specify the vmdk file name that is the same as the one I just deleted.

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Dave_Mishchenko
Immortal
Immortal

Good news - you're not the problem. You have to spend another 5K on VirtualCenter to get the ablitity to clone in the GUI. To do it without VirtualCenter take a look at this article - http://kb.vmware.com/kb/1000936. Between step 2 and 3, I usually edit the VM and delete the HD that was just created for the VM. For my vmkfstools command I can then specify the vmdk file name that is the same as the one I just deleted.

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Ron_Rosenkoette
Contributor
Contributor

Not sure if I'd call that good news... I'd rather feel like a fool for 5 minutes and then have an easy way to get my work done for the next month or two.

Please add this "feature" to your next release, VMware. It's embarrasing that you don't have it... (yes, yes, most people buy ESX with Virtual Center, but the code would be TRIVIAL to add)

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depping
Leadership
Leadership

http://www.vmware.com/support/developer/viperltoolkit/doc/utilityappsdoc/vmclone.html

and there are a couple of other scripts floating around. and you could always use VMware converter!

Duncan

My virtualisation blog:

Ron_Rosenkoette
Contributor
Contributor

Sorry to bump this old post...

Still working with a single ESX server (VMware doesn't really fit the model at this company - very high CPU apps). Was showing some developers how to create test VMs for development purposes (They really liked the snapshot manager), but everyone in the room was amazed that there was no easy way to make a clone of an existing VM.

This is a software company by the way, and the developers are top-dog around here and make a lot of business decisions.

Them: "Umm.. how much did we spend on ESX? And you can't even copy VMs with a single-click? No way to deploy from a template?"

Me: "Well, Virtual Center does that, but that costs extra"

I'm a big, big fan of VMware. I built a large deployment (20 host servers, around 400 VMs) from scratch at my last job, Fortune 500 company.

But I was embarrased for you guys today. You're next move (should be) the small business market... Add the most basic functionality to the stand-alone copy of ESX, please.

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JRink
Enthusiast
Enthusiast

Ron,

I think it's very easy to clone/copy VMs even without Virtual Center. All you have to do is use vmkfstools -i /src /dest from putty/ssh.

What I typically do is build a VM that I use as my master-image or whatever which is basically just a simple OS install with service packs, patches, newsid.exe. Then, when I need another VM, I use vmkfstools to copy it, create a new VM and use this newly copied vmdk. Power the new VM on and run newsid.exd to change the Windows SID. Then I'm good to go. VMConvertor is also another option as well.

The only slow part of the process is copying/cloning the VM when your VMDK file is really large. But, for me, my base OS install VMDKs are usually 20-30GB for the system partition, so it doesn't take too long in reality.

JR

Ron_Rosenkoette
Contributor
Contributor

Yep, it is fairly easy using vmkfstools.. that's exactly how I do it...

But deploying from a template is MOST basic task I'd imagine from virtualization software... It should be built into the GUI. VMware needs to focus on the small companies as well as the large, and this should be a trivial task to include in the GUI Client

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