You can clone virtual machines or VM templates from your vCenter Server inventory to templates in the content library and use them later to provision virtual machines on a cluster or a host. You can also clone a virtual machine or VM template to update an existing template in the library.

Templates are master copies of virtual machines that you can use to create virtual machines that are ready for use. 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 Templates in Content Libraries.


  1. In the vSphere Client, navigate to the virtual machine or template that you want to clone.
  2. Start the cloning task.
    • Right-click a virtual machine and select Clone > Clone to Template in Library.

    • Right-click a VM template, and select Clone to Library.

  3. Select the Clone as option.



    New template

    1. Select New template.

    2. Select the content library where to add the template.

    Update existing template

    1. Select Update existing template.

    2. Select the template to update.

  4. From the content libraries list, select the library in which you want to add the template.
  5. Enter a name and description for the template.
  6. (Optional) Select the 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.

  7. Click OK.


A new task for cloning to OVF package appears in the Recent Tasks pane. After the task is complete, the template appears in the Templates tab for the content library.

What to do next

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