When creating a new linked clone from a template or other virtual machine, there is currently no easy way to convert the clone to a standalone machine. This means that you must always have the linked machine with you at all times. The machine will eventually grow and sometimes needs to be archived, but there is no way to do it without having to copy the entire linked clone chain. VMWare offers this under "clone" and selecting "independent". I found an article that walks you through using a 3rd party linux tool to copy partitions or using VMWare Converter to "capture" the machine as if it was physical, but would be nice if there was a simple option of doing this.