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Thread: virtual box - use the same .vdi disk file for multiple virtual machines

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
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    279

    Question virtual box - use the same .vdi disk file for multiple virtual machines

    Hi all,
    My question is about virtual box - can I use the same .vdi disk file for multiple virtual machines (not simultaneously)?
    I will explain.
    I need to install different stuff and it takes time.
    Then I need to backup my .vdi and use it for multiple virtual machines, version0001, version0002 and so on.
    I don't want to start from scratch as I will just waste my time.
    So.. any suggestions on how to do it properly?
    I'm in process of installing now. Then I will backup my .vdi and try it.

    Upd: it is simple... I just cloned original machine in virtualbox... seems no manual backup of original .vdi is needed.
    Last edited by oldos2er; April 13th, 2019 at 01:10 AM. Reason: Moved to Virtualisation.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
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    Distro
    Ubuntu Mate 16.04 Xenial Xerus

    Re: virtual box - use the same .vdi disk file for multiple virtual machines

    Happy you found a working method. Please mark this thread and aother others as SOLVED using the Thread Tools button to help out the rest of the community.

    Might want to checkout snapshots with vbox. Don't use them too much, not too many layers, because there are performance impacts, but a few layers should be fine.

    Cloning a VM is possible using vboxmanage CLI tool. Or you can just power down the VM and use the File --> Export Appliance option. Or simply copy the .VDI file, but then you'll need to setup the VM manually. It is it Windows, it needs to be exactly the same. Linux is much more forgiving, so "Pretty close" is almost always sufficient. Best to be very careful if there are proprietary drivers.

    If you want to build a fresh install and have settings and packages easily installed, might want to check out apt-mark showmanual. Save that output to a file. On another system, a base install, you can use apt-mark install < file to feed in that list of packages to be marked for install, then use apt-get -u dselect-upgrade to install them all - 2 commands. Pretty great when you need to move to a new release. Another tool option for your toolkit. In the old days, we'd use dpkg --get-selections , but it makes a list of all the installed packages, not just those manually installed.

    Options. You get to pick the best for the situation.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    Beans
    279

    Re: virtual box - use the same .vdi disk file for multiple virtual machines

    Thanks TheFu. It's rocket science for me so far. I would stick to just cloning machine using VirtualBox interface for now.

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