Everything You Need to Know About Linked Clones in Parallels Desktop

Guest blog by Ram Chavali, Parallels Support Team

As I recently described in my previous blog post, snapshots in Parallels Desktop can be a really useful feature for almost all users. But did you know you can also create another virtual machine based on these snapshots?

I know, I know—you’re probably thinking: “Why would I do that?

Here’s why: you can create a new VM without reinstalling Windows or copying the entire older VM to test a new program or configuration. This is called a “linked clone”.

So what’s a clone? A clone is a separate VM fully identical to the original one. A linked clone is a VM that shares virtual hard disks with the parent VM.

You can create a linked clone which uses your existing VM as a source. It just creates a snapshot to build a new VM with a unique hardware ID and Mac addresses, so it behaves like a separate VM.

Here are the top three reasons for creating a linked clone:

This feature doesn’t just work for Windows OSes—you can also create linked clones for Linux or other VM OSes as well. We’d just recommend checking with your OS vendor to see if they allow you to use your OS license on multiple devices (or VMs).

Now let’s see how to actually create a linked clone:

Linked Clone

To summarize, you can create a new VM based on the parent VM in just a few moments. The linked clones help you save your Mac’s hard disk space because they do not copy the entire parent VM. Unlike regular snapshots, several linked clones of the same parent VM can run at the same time.

We hope this info on linked clones in Parallels Desktop was helpful. Don’t forget to follow the Parallels Support team on Twitter!


Parallels Desktop 10 for Mac

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