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I want to create a new vm starting from an existing virtualbox vm.

Can I just copy and paste and rename the existing one?

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could someone edit this question to fix the 'virutalbox' mistyping? it doesn't help when searching for virtualbox. – igorsantos07 Aug 20 '09 at 1:17
up vote 18 down vote accepted

No, Virtualbox will not allow you to register two VDI files with the same UUID.

Cannot register the hard disk '/home/lee/fedora-10-x86-1.vdi' with UUID {06f39a14-97e6-478c-93b9-0ade6dba48d8} because a hard disk '/home/lee/fedora-10-x86-1.vdi' with UUID {06f39a14-97e6-478c-93b9-0ade6dba48d8} already exists in the media registry ('/home/lee/.VirtualBox/VirtualBox.xml').

You will need to clone the VDI file, this copies the original VDI file and assigns a new UUID.

From the gui:

Shutdown the VM and hit 'Ctrl+Shift+C' or click the 'clone' button. (It looks like a sheep.)


VBoxManage.exe clonevdi "<Full_path_to_org_vdi>" "<Full_path_to_new_vdi>"


VBoxManage clonevdi <Full_path_to_org_vdi> <Full_path_to_new_vdi>

I found a tutorial here describing the process.

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Indeed. I recently got caught by that :( – theotherreceive Aug 21 '09 at 3:34
Alternatively you can copy the vdi hard disk with windows/linux and then change UUID with command: vboxmanage internalcommands sethduuid <FULL_PATH_TO_VDI>. – SuB Sep 27 '13 at 17:55

I have created a simple script to clone a VirtualBox machine. It can create a clone from any snapshot. See my blog post where you can download the script.

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VirtualBox 4.1 added clone functionality via GUI yesterday.

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