You can clone existing virtual machines or VM templates to templates in the content library, and use them later to provision virtual machines on a cluster or a host.

Templates are master copies of virtual machines that let you create ready-for-use virtual machines. You can make changes to the template, such as installing additional software in the guest operating system, while preserving the state of the original template. For more information, see VM Templates and vApp Templates in Content Libraries


  1. In the vSphere Web Client, navigate to the object you want to clone, and start the cloning task.



    Clone a virtual machine to a template in a library

    1. Select vCenter Inventory Lists > Virtual Machines.

    2. Right-click a virtual machine and select Clone > Clone to Template in Library.

    Clone a VM Template to a template in a library

    1. Select vCenter Inventory Lists > VM Templates in Folders.

    2. Right-click a VM Template and select Clone to Library.

    The Clone to Template in Library dialog box opens.

  2. Enter a name and description for the template.
  3. From the list with content libraries, select the library in which you want to add the template.
  4. (Optional) Select configuration data that you want to include in the template.

    You can select to preserve the MAC-addresses on the network adapters and include extra configuration.

  5. Click OK.


A new task for exporting an OVF package appears in the Recent Tasks pane. After the task is complete, the template appears in the Templates tab of the Related Objects tab for the content library.

What to do next

Use the template to create virtual machines on hosts or clusters in the vSphere inventory.