You can add new templates to a content library by cloning virtual machines or virtual machine templates from your vCenter Server inventory to templates in the content library. You can use the content library items later to provision virtual machines on a cluster or a host. You can also update an existing template in the content library by cloning a virtual machine or virtual machine template from the vCenter Server inventory.

Templates are primary copies of virtual machines that you can use to create virtual machines that are ready for use. You can change 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.

When you clone a virtual machine from the vCenter Server inventory to the content library, you can choose what type of content library item to create. You can choose to create a library item of either the VM Template type or OVF Template type.
Important: If you choose to create a VM Template library item, an identical VM template is created in the vCenter Server inventory. For more information about VM templates in a content library, see The VM Template as a Content Library Item.


  1. Navigate to the virtual machine or template that you want to clone.
  2. Select your task.
    Option Description
    Clone a virtual machine
    1. Right-click the virtual machine and select Clone > Clone as Template in Library.

      The Clone Virtual Machine To Template wizard opens.

    2. On the Basic information page, enter a name and description for the template, select the template type, and select an inventory folder for the template.

      You can create an OVF Template or VM Template in the content library.

    3. On the Location page, select a local content library in which you want to add the template.
    4. On the Select a compute resource page, select the compute resource for the template.
    5. On the Select storage page, select the storage for the template disk and configuration files.
    6. On the Review page, review the details and click Finish to complete the cloning task.
    Clone a virtual machine template
    1. Right-click the virtual machine template and select Clone to Library.

      The Clone to Template in Library dialog box opens.

    2. Select the Clone as option.

      You can create a template or you can choose an existing template to update.

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

    6. Click OK.


A new task for cloning appears in the Recent Tasks pane. After the task is complete, the template appears in the Templates tab for the content library. You can view the type of template in the Type column.

What to do next

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