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With Ubuntu as the Host, I want to run two similar/identical(?) instances of a VirtualBox Guest on the same Host, or perhaps on another Host which is on the same LAN...

I have set up a Guest as a "base" for the two clones. I have exported it as an ovf appliance.

I've imported this "base" guest OS back into VirtualBox, with a unique name and .vdk ... and I have started them both on the same Host, and all seems okay, but I do wonder if I have missed some significant point. Is the virtual NIC the same? this would throw the LAN into confusion (I think)... and what about UUIDs?

I haven't actually tried 2 clones together, yet... only the original and one clone, but I haven't gone beyond a simple startup ...

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why doesn't this question have more up-votes? This question is useful and clear. :-) – Stefano Palazzo Dec 6 '10 at 0:12
up vote 1 down vote accepted

I am not sure with VirtualBox, but with VMWare there are no such problems. Multiple VMs can share a vmnic, and cloned guests get a new MAC address and what not.

My guess would be that you are fine (I do it all the time on VMWare workstation) and from what I have seen of VirtualBox it is very mature. Try it out, if it doesn't work, then worry about it.

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Thanks addisonj... I suppose if something goes "wrong", it will become obvious, but I'm not sure I'll pick up a subtle issue which might bite me down the track (networks aren't my forte :) .... Knowing now that it works for you (in VMware), I'll give it a go, and just hold back on doing my planned full install-and-setup from scratch of (100+) extra programs and tools ... I don't wan't to do that more often than needed (I've done it way too many times in the past on a certain OS which has a reputation of needing to be reinstalled a lot :) – Peter.O Nov 23 '10 at 17:24
Actually I just realized the main point here.. You say that a cloned Guest gets a new MAC address, but the very issue is that I was thinking to import the same cloned base... and judging by what you've suggested, I think that would cause a problem (?) ... and by the same token, if export two "clones" it should work ok (re the NIC)... This is the point that was bugging me.. but exporting two seperate clones may be the solution, ... or am I on the wrong track? . – Peter.O Nov 23 '10 at 17:33
I have also tried this same situation with VMWare and it works fine, once again, can't say for VirtualBox, but I imagine VMware checks for this situation and remedies it if it sees a conflict among guests. – addisonj Nov 23 '10 at 17:36
Okay... I've got a new, clearer perspecive on it now.. I'll look at it again tomorrow (can't keep awake any longer)... thanks – Peter.O Nov 23 '10 at 17:39

If you properly clone the VM using the vboxmanage clonehd commands it will create the cloned VM with a new mac address as well.

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Dan, thanks.. You've prompted me to look a bit more into it, and regardless of what vboxmanage clonehd does, the net resuslt is that I've just realized how easy it is to change a MAC adddress... It is simply a matter of: Settings -> Network -> Adapter 1(-4) -> Advanced -> MAC Address... Done! .. (it's easy when you know :) ... PS: vboxmanage appears to be a "do-all" tool... It's very good to know about it. – Peter.O Dec 30 '10 at 3:51

Watch out. With VirtualBox, cloned VMs will have the same mac address as the original one. Therefore, the network will not be able to differentiate between the two. Currently, you will have to manually change the mac address of the newly cloned instance BEFORE starting it to avoid conflict on the network.

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Thanks Pradeep... I haven't actually tried it yet, so I will keep a definite eye on that (when I do get around to it... not enough hours in the day :) ...Well it's good to know what to look out for, and that the MAC address can be changed manually... – Peter.O Dec 29 '10 at 15:21

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