After you create a virtual machine, 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 original virtual machine.

You cannot modify templates after you create them. To alter an existing template, you must convert it to a virtual machine, make the required changes, and convert the virtual machine back to a template. To preserve the original state of a template, clone the template to a template.

If a load generator is running in the virtual machine, stop it before you perform the clone operation.

Verify that you have the following privileges:

Virtual machine.Provisioning.Create template from virtual machine on the source virtual machine.

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

Resource.Assign virtual machine to resource pool on the destination host, cluster, or resource pool.

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


To make a master copy of a virtual machine, you can clone the virtual machine to a template. You can open the New Virtual Machine wizard from any object in the inventory that is a valid parent object of a virtual machine, or directly from the template. The wizard provides several options for creating and deploying virtual machines and templates.


To clone a virtual machine to a template, you must select an existing virtual machine to clone. You cannot modify a template after you create it. To change the template, you must convert it back to a virtual machine.


When you deploy a template to the vCenter Server inventory, you provide a unique name for it. The unique name distinguishes it from existing templates in the virtual machine folder or datacenter. The name can contain up to 80 characters. You can select a datacenter or folder location for the template, depending on your organizational needs.


When you deploy a virtual machine template, select a host or cluster resource for the template. 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.


Each virtual machine or virtual machine template requires a folder or directory for its virtual disks and files. When you create a virtual machine or template to deploy to the vCenter Server inventory, select a datastore or datastore cluster for the virtual machine's configuration and other files and all of the virtual disks. Each datastore can have a different size, speed, availability, and other properties.


Before you deploy the template, you can review the template settings.