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Create a Virtual Machine and Attach an osDisk Snapshot using ARM Template

Azure Resource Manager (ARM)| Snapshot | Azure CLI

βš— Kevin Summersill πŸ”‹
5 min readJun 21, 2021


Have you ever had a need to replicate a Virtual Machine using an Existing Operating System (OS) Disk on Azure? Well, i know i did. So this article will explain how to do this.


  • Assumes you already created a Virtual Network (VNet), Network Security Groups (NSGs), and Subnet to associate to the below Virtual Machine.
  • Assumes you have Azure CLI Installed
  • Assumes you have the capability to run ARM Templates

Step 1. Creating the Snapshot

You can create a snapshot with easy by using the Azure CLI commands. I have written a powershell script that will do just this:

# Must already have a Virtual Machine with an OS Disk prior to running the script. 
$resourceGroup = "<your resource group name>"
$virtualMachineName = "<your virtual machine name>"
$snapshotName = "<name of your new snapshot>"
Write-Output "Getting OS Disk ID for Virtual Machine..."
$osDiskId = az vm list -g $resourceGroup --query "[?name == '$virtualMachineName']" --output tsv
Write-Output "Creating Snapshot using OS Disk Id"
az snapshot create -g $resourceGroup -n "$snapshotName" --source $osDiskId
Write-Output "Snapshot Created"

Save the file as create-snapshot-from-disk.p1 and then run it.

Step 2. Setup an Azure Resource Manager (ARM) Template

This template will include the following resources:

  • Public IP Address to access via RDP
  • Network Interface
  • Compute Disk
  • Virtual Machine

Add the following azuredeploy.jsonc file:

"$schema": "",
"contentVersion": "",
"parameters": {
// Virtual Machine Instance Details
"virtualMachineName": {
"type": "string",
"metadata": {…



βš— Kevin Summersill πŸ”‹

Enterprise Solution Architect | Certified K8s Administrator/Developer βš“ | SAFe SPC | Cert Terraform | AWS Solutions Architect | Dev*Ops/GitOps Engineer πŸ”₯