After you create a template, you can clone it to a template. 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.

Prerequisites

Verify that you have the following privileges:

  • Virtual machine > Provisioning > Clone template on the source template.

  • Virtual machine > Inventory > Create from existing on the folder where the template is created.

  • Datastore > Allocate space on all datastores where the template is created.

Procedure

  1. Start the Clone Template to Template wizard.

    Option

    Description

    Open the Clone Template to Template wizard from any object in the inventory

    1. Right-click any inventory object that is a valid parent object of a virtual machine, such as a data center, folder, cluster, resource pool, or host, and select New Virtual Machine.

    2. Select Clone Template to Template and click Next.

    3. On the Select a template to clone page, browse to the template that you want to clone or accept the default one.

    Open the Clone Template to Template wizard from a template

    Right-click a template and select Clone to Template.

  2. On the Select a name and folder page, enter a unique name for the template and select the data center or folder in which to deploy it. Click Next.

    The template name determines the name of the files and folder on the disk. For example, if you name the template win8tmp, the template files are named win8tmp.vmdk, win8tmp.nvram, and so on. If you change the template name, the names of the files on the datastore do not change.

    Folders provide a way to store virtual machines and templates for different groups in an organization and you can set permissions on them. If you prefer a flatter hierarchy, you can put all virtual machines and templates in a datacenter and organize them in a different way.

  3. On the Select a compute resource page, select a host or cluster resource for the template.

    The Compatibility pane shows the result from the compatibility checks.

    Note:

    The template must be registered with an ESXi host. The host handles all requests for the template and must be running when you create a virtual machine from the template.

    Important:

    If the template that you clone has an NVDIMM device and virtual PMem hard disks, the destination host or cluster must have available PMem resource. Otherwise, you cannot proceed with the task.

    If the template that you clone does not have an NVDIMM device, but it has virtual PMem hard disks, the destination host or cluster must have available PMem resource. Otherwise, all the hard disks of the template will use the storage policy and datastore selected for the configuration files of the source template.

  4. On the Select storage page, select the datastore or datastore cluster in which to store the virtual machine configuration files and all of the virtual disks. Click Next.
    1. Select the format for the virtual machine's disks.

      Option

      Action

      Same format as source

      Use the same format as the source virtual machine.

      Thick Provision Lazy Zeroed

      Create a virtual disk in a default thick format. Space required for the virtual disk is allocated during creation. Any data remaining on the physical device is not erased during creation, but is zeroed out on demand at a later time on first write from the virtual machine.

      Thick Provision Eager Zeroed

      Create a thick disk that supports clustering features such as Fault Tolerance. Space required for the virtual disk is allocated at creation time. In contrast to the thick provision lazy zeroed format, the data remaining on the physical device is zeroed out during creation. It might take longer to create disks in this format than to create other types of disks.

      Thin Provision

      Use the thin provisioned format. At first, a thin provisioned disk uses only as much datastore space as the disk initially needs. If the thin disk needs more space later, it can grow to the maximum capacity allocated to it.

    2. (Optional) Select a storage policy from the VM Storage Policy drop-down menu.

      Storage policies specify storage requirements for applications that run on the virtual machine.

    3. Select the datastore location where you want to store the virtual machine files.

      Your selection affects the storage creation process.

      Option

      Action

      Store all virtual machine files in the same location on a datastore.

      1. Apply a virtual machine storage policy for the virtual machine home files and the virtual disks from the VM storage policy drop-down menu.

        The list shows which datastores are compatible and which are incompatible with the selected virtual machine storage policy.

      2. Select a datastore and click Next.

      Store all virtual machine files in the same datastore cluster.

      1. Apply a virtual machine storage policy for the virtual machine home files and the virtual disks from the VM storage policy drop-down menu.

        The list shows which datastores are compatible and which are incompatible with the selected virtual machine storage profile.

      2. Select a datastore cluster.

      3. If you do not want to use Storage DRS with this virtual machine, select Disable Storage DRS for this virtual machine and select a datastore within the datastore cluster.

      4. Click Next.

      Store virtual machine configuration files and disks in separate locations.

      1. Click Advanced.

      2. For the virtual machine configuration file and for each virtual disk, click Browse and select a datastore or datastore cluster.

      3. Apply a virtual machine storage policy from the VM storage profile drop-down menu.

        The list shows which datastores are compatible and which are incompatible with the selected virtual machine storage policy.

      4. If you selected a datastore cluster and do not want to use Storage DRS with this virtual machine, select Disable Storage DRS for this virtual machine and select a datastore within the datastore cluster.

      5. Click Next.

      Store all virtual machine files in the same non-volatile memory disk

      1. Apply a virtual machine storage policy for the virtual machine home files and the virtual disks from the VM storage policy drop-down menu.

      2. Select a non-volatile memory disk and click Next.

    Important:

    You cannot change the storage policy if you clone an encrypted virtual machine. For information about cloning an encrypted virtual machine, see vSphere Security.

  5. On the Ready to complete page, review the template settings and click Finish.

Results

The progress of the clone task appears in the Recent Tasks pane. When the task completes, the template appears in the inventory.