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I'd like to share a VirtualBox image with other developers, similar to this question: How to share a VirtualBox image?

There seem to be three basic answers to that question:

  1. Copy the entire VM folder, and share the copy
  2. Clone the VM, and share the clone
  3. Export the VM, and share the exported files

Unfortunately, I'm a little unclear on the differences between these methods. What are their pros/cons? Do they all accomplish exactly the same task, or are there differences in the "copies" that you get in each case?

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up vote 2 down vote accepted

I would recommend Exporting an Appliance. This will package everything you need up into a single file you can distribute. Copying the files manually can be done, but you would have to manage several files and you may also have to edit some of them after the fact since they contain absolute paths to some files on your hard drive.

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