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How to Backup VM(s) on VirtualBox

VirtualBox is one of the most widely used software for running virtual machines on lots of systems. Developed by Oracle, VirtualBox is truly a piece of work that can help anyone in lots of situations. For running virtual machines, Linux is often used as it’s a lightweight system with extremely powerful features.

If you’re a VirtualBox user, you obviously have to know how to backup a virtual system from the VirtualBox. It’s really useful in lots of situations, for example, exporting the virtual system to others or for development purpose etc.

How to make the backup


There are several ways you can make a backup of a virtual system on VirtualBox. For Linux, it’s the easiest method to use the “snapshot” feature. The benefit is, it allows saving the instant state of the VM and restore the same state at any time.

How to take a snapshot

  • Open VirtualBox.
  • Start the virtual system you wish to take backup.
  • Once opened, go to Machines >> Take snapshot.

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  • Enter a name for the snapshot. You can also add snapshot description and other information.

Restoring snapshots

  • Open VirtualBox main window.
  • Click the arrow next to the “Machine Tools” button.

  • Select the snapshot you want to restore from the “snapshot manager”.
  • Click “Restore”.

It’s done! You can easily create and restore snapshots as you like.

Exporting VMs

VirtualBox also allows you export and import VMs just like a file. However, this will make a backup copy of the VM’s files and operating system; no snapshots. The virtual machine, then, can be deployed into any other virtual system.

  • Open VirtualBox.
  • Go to File >> Export Appliance.

  • Select the virtual machine you want to back up.
  • Choose the backup file path and format.

  • Click “Export”.

The exported file can be deployed in any system.

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