Installing a guest operating system and applications can be time consuming. With VMware Fusion Professional, you can make many copies of a virtual machine from a single installation and configuration process.

Clones are useful when you must deploy many identical virtual machines to a group. For example, an MIS department can clone a virtual machine that has a suite of preconfigured office applications for each employee. You can also configure a virtual machine that has a complete development environment and clone it repeatedly as a baseline configuration for software testing.

The existing virtual machine is called the parent virtual machine. Two types of clones are available for creation: linked clones and full clones. Linked clones are created more quickly than full clones, but are dependent on the parent virtual machine. Full clones take longer to create, but are completely independent of the parent virtual machine.

Changes made to a clone do not affect the parent virtual machine, and changes made to the parent virtual machine do not appear in a clone. The MAC address for a clone is different from the parent virtual machine.