clone virtual machine without vCenter using ESXi

How to clone virtual machine without vCenter using ESXi base host machine, First think why we required to clone the virtual machine..? If we would like to make multiple virtual machines as same exact virtual machine. 

  Connect to the vSphere Hypervisior using vSphere client and power off the source virtual machine.

How to clone virtual machine without vCenter using ESXi

In order to clone first take snapshot of existing virtual machine to do that, Right click on the current virtual machine –> Snapshot –> Take Snapshot. Example is shown in below screenshot


Now Select the base host name and go to configuration tab –> Click on Security profile ( As shown in below screenshot )

Select SSH and Click on Options

Start the SSH service to connect ESXi using Command line interface ( Refer Below screenshot )

Start SSH service – Click on Ok

Note: You have to shutdown the Virtual Machine before you run vmkfstools command

Login to the ESXi host command line interface using SSH service as root user (Below is the screenshot after login to the Command line interface)

Go to /vmfs/volumes/ directory and type ls -la for viewing the list of volues

# cd /vmfs/volumes/ 
# ls -la

Clone the disk file. To clone disk use below command

# vmkfstools -i /vmfs/volumes/datastore1/DC1/DC1-00001.vmdk /vmfs/volumes/datastore1/newclone.vmdk -d thin

Now lets create an New Virtual machine with cloned disk

Right Click on ESXi base host machine name and Click on New virtual Machine OR press Ctrl+n (As shown in above screenshot)

Now it will ask you which type of VM you would like to create (Next Step)

Provide Virtual machine name

Select the Datastore where you would like to store your Virtual machine files

Select Guest Operating system (Windows, Linux Or Other)

Now select How many NIC’s you want to create and Select the virtual machine NIC VLAN

Provide Disk size and select its type of provisioning preferred is thin

Check Edit the virtual machine settings and click continue

Select curent disk–> Click on remove. Remove existing Disk because we do not required. Add newly cloned disk to make this virtual machine as exact its parent

click on add button to attach new one, Select Hard Disk Click Next

Select second option that is “Use an existing virtual disk” Click Next

Browse datastore and select the new .vmdk file Click open then Click Next


Click Finish

That’s it Virtual machine successfully cloned.


We can also clone virtual machine using ESXi. 

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