Super User is a question and answer site for computer enthusiasts and power users. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

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

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

share|improve this question
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.

share|improve this answer
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.

share|improve this answer

VirtualBox 4.1 added clone functionality via GUI yesterday.

share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.