Installing a guest operating system and applications can be time consuming. With clones, you can make many copies of a virtual machine from a single installation and configuration process. Cloning a virtual machine is faster and easier than copying it.

Clones are useful when you must deploy many identical virtual machines to a group. For example, an MIS department can clone a virtual machine that has a suite of preconfigured office applications for each employee. You can also configure a virtual machine that has a complete development environment and then clone it repeatedly as a baseline configuration for software testing.

The existing virtual machine is called the parent virtual machine. When the cloning operation is complete, the clone becomes a separate virtual machine.

Changes made to a clone do not affect the parent virtual machine, and changes made to the parent virtual machine do not appear in a clone. The MAC address and UUID for a clone are different from the parent virtual machine.