How to Create Template of Virtual Machine in VMware ESXi

Are you tired of manually configuring virtual machines every time you need one? Save yourself the hassle and create a template in VMware ESXi! With a pre-configured template, you can quickly deploy new VMs with just a few clicks.

In this blog post, we’ll walk you through creating your virtual machine template.

Whether you’re managing one or multiple virtual environments, this guide will help streamline your workflow and improve productivity. Let’s get started!

Create Template of Virtual Machine in VMware ESXi

Introduction to VMware ESXi

VMware ESXi is a powerful yet easy-to-use virtualization platform. In this guide, we will show you how to create a virtual machine template in VMware ESXi.

This can be helpful if you want to create multiple identical VMs quickly or if you want to ensure that all your VMs are consistently configured.

Creating a VM template is simple and takes a few minutes. First, launch the vSphere Client and connect to your ESXi server. Next, right-click on the VM you want to use as a template and select “Clone.”

In the “Clone Virtual Machine” wizard, select “Full Clone” and then click “Next.”

Give your new VM template a name on the following page and select where you would like it stored. Then click “Next.”

Review your settings on the wizard’s final page and click “Finish” to begin the cloning process. Your new VM template will now be created!

Once the clone is complete, you can power on the VM to ensure everything works correctly. You may need to configure the operating system and install any applications you want to be included in the template.

Once it is set up, power off the VM and right-click on it selecting “Create Template.”

In the “Create Template” wizard, select your new template’s name and location (you may store it in the same folder you stored in your original VM). Then click “Next.”

Review your settings on the wizard’s final page and click “Finish” to create your VM template. You can deploy a new VM based on this template whenever needed!

Understanding Template

A template is a pre-configured virtual machine that you can use as a starting point to create new virtual machines.

VMware ESXi templates can be created for both Windows and Linux operating systems. Creating a template in VMware ESXi is simple and only requires a few steps.

To create a template, you will first need to have a source virtual machine already configured in how you want your template to be.

This can be an existing virtual machine or one you have just created. Once you have your source virtual machine ready, follow these steps:

  1. In the vSphere Web Client, navigate to the host or cluster where your source virtual machine is located.
  2. Right-click on the source VM and select “All vCenter Actions” > “Template.”
  3. Enter a name for your template and click “OK.”
  4. Your template will now appear in the list of available templates.

Steps to Create a Template

Assuming you have already logged into VMware ESXi, follow these steps to create a template of a virtual machine:

  1. Right-click on the VM you wish to convert and select “All vCenter Actions.”
  2. Select “Export OVF Template”
  3. Enter a name for the template and click OK
  4. The process will take some time, depending on the size of your VM; once completed, the template will be available.
  5. To deploy the template, right-click on the folder you wish to deploy it and select “Deploy OVF Template.”
  6. Select the template you want to deploy, enter any required information, and click Finish.

Benefits of Using Templates

Using templates in creating virtual machines in VMware ESXi has many benefits. You can use a template to ensure that all virtual machines are created with the exact specifications and settings.

This can save you a lot of time and effort when creating new virtual machines, as you will not need to configure each one manually.

Additionally, a template can help standardize your environment and keep your virtual machines consistent.

How to Updating & Reusing Your Template

If you want to update or reuse your template, you first need to make sure that the template is powered off.

You can then make any changes that you need to make and power the template back on. Finally, you’ll need to export the template as an OVF file.

You can then use this OVF file to update existing virtual machines or to deploy new ones. If you’re updating the template, make sure any changes are compatible with all the virtual machines that use it.

When deploying new virtual machines from the updated template, remember to select “Reuse Existing Template” when configuring the deployment settings. Otherwise, you may end up having multiple templates on your server.

Tips for Working with Templates

  1. Review the available options for configuring your virtual machine template in VMware ESXi.
  2. Select the operating system and applications you wish to include in your template.
  3. Install and configure these components on a reference virtual machine.
  4. Fully patch and update this reference VM before creating your template.
  5. Once your reference VM is ready, power it down and create a clone or snapshot to serve as your template’s basis.
  6. Be sure to choose the “cloned” or “snapshot” option when creating your clone or snapshot, as this will ensure that only changed blocks of data are copied over, saving time and disk space.
  7. Edit the settings of your new template VM as needed, such as adding disks or changing network configuration. When satisfied with your changes, power up the template VM to ensure everything works as expected.


Creating a template of the virtual machine in VMware ESXi is a beneficial process that can save you hours if done correctly. One can quickly create templates with minimal effort by utilizing the tools available within ESXi, such as cloning and snapshotting capabilities.

This ability to rapidly deploy a standard environment for multiple machines eliminates manual labor and guarantees consistency across all units, thus improving overall uptime and productivity.

With all of these advantages, it’s clear why creating templates of VM in VMware ESXi has become an invaluable strategy for IT departments worldwide.