Creating a machine template in VMWare Workstation.

This is a short tutorial for the creation of an OVF package inside VMWare Workstation. An OVF package is a template of a pre-built virtual machine that can be deployed to make a copy of the machine. Multiple copies of some machines can lead to complications unless set up correctly which is a major area this article addresses.


  1. Create a new machine in your workstation menu or locate an existing one. Ensure to customize whatever settings you want the machine to have during this creation process and select the appropriate ISO for your desired machine.

    Setup Wizard
    Following the creation, installation and setup of the machine we can move on to the next step.

  2. Adjust any settings in the machine accordingly so they are set up for the template. For example, change your machine name and IP configuration so it is already in the correct range for easy adjustment when the template is deployed. If the VM is a server you may want to install certain roles or features beforehand that would be useful on all deployments of the VM.

    Server Setup
    After all the configuration for the template is completed make sure to unmount the ISO or disk used to perform the OS installation before the next step. This can be done through the machine settings.


  3. All windows and linux OS distributions assign a unique SID (security identifier) to your machine during the setup. This identifier cannot be in conflict with another, thus cloning the machine into an OVF package can lead to this problem when deploying a template multiple times. For windows we can work around this using the “sysprep” tool and for linux you should be able to research an equivalent tool depending on your distro.

    Use the search or "run" function to find this tool.

    Sysprep Run

    From the results select the sysprep application and ensure generalize and shutdown are set as your options before running.

    Sysprep Settings

  4. Once the shutdown has been completed navigate to “file” and select export to OVF. Select a location to save the package and begin the export.

    Export OVF

    Import OVF

  5. Following the successful export of the OVF you can deploy it by selecting the “open” function with a right click in your VMWare library. Simply run the OVF file and fill out the new computer name to deploy your template.

    After deployment you will have to change back any network adapter settings or share folders under options as they will be reset to default.

Tags: copy, FAQ, virtual
Last update:
23-11-2021 05:13
Lewis Monk
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