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Create an OVF Package

Create an OVF Package

Uploading a local virtual machine to the VM Catalog of the Enterprise Cloud requires two types of files: the disk images of the running virtual machine and a descriptor file. The Open Virtualization Format (OVF) descriptor file, with an extension of .ovf, describes the characteristics of the virtual machine such as name; hardware requirements; references to the disk images that contain the virtual machine, with an extension of .vmdk; and human-readable descriptions. The descriptor file, however, is not required for the operation of a virtual machine and usually must be created. While a virtual machine cannot run without its disk images and, therefore, are always available; the VMDK file for uploads is stored in a compressed, sparse format unlike the format for active virtual machines and must be created from the operational files.

Note: An OVF descriptor file of a local virtual machine is required to upload the virtual machine to the VM Catalog. One cannot create an OVF descriptor file of a virtual machine in an Enterprise Cloud environment.


  1. Open the vSphere Client.
  2. Select a virtual machine on the Virtual Machines tab of Inventory > VMs and Templates.
  3. On the File menu, select Export > Export OVF Template.
  4. In Format of the dialog, select OVF format.
  5. Note: Do not select OVA format.

  6. Ensure you use neither spaces nor special characters (such as @#$%) in naming.
  7. You need adequate local hard drive space for the export. In most cases, the resulting VMDK files are smaller than the allocated size as the export process collapses empty drive space.
  8. Once the export is complete you can begin the upload process through the Enterprise Cloud user interface.

VMware Workstation or VMware Fusion

You must download the ovftool from VMware in order to export a Workstation or Fusion Virtual Machine in the proper format.

VMware Communities: Open Virtualization Format Tool

Once you have downloaded and installed the tool, you can convert a virtual machine by running the following command:

ovftool <source VMX> <target OVF>



>ovftool c:\vm\myVM.vmx c:\OVF\myVM.ovf


>/opt/vmware/ovftool/ovftool /Users/username/VMs/myVM.vmx /Users/username/OVF/myVM.ovf

The OVF tool creates the OVF file and converts the operational .vmdk file to a compressed, sparse .vmdk file. You can differentiate the latter from the source .vmdk file by the -diskN inserted at the end of the source .vmdk filename. For example, Ubuntu 64-bit.vmdk becomes Ubuntu_64-bit-disk1.vmdk (note also the replacement of spaces by underscores). The number following -disk is simply a sequential identifier for virtual machines with multiple hard disk drives.

Note: VM Upload does not accept VMDK files created with --compress enabled on ovftool and does not accept OVF files with multiple virtual machines.

Operating System

In some cases, you can adjust the operating system short name in the OVF file. This can happen if the virtual machine is exported for VMware Workstation or Fusion and the OS short name does not match with the type from ESX. If you get an error stating that you are uploading a virtual machine with an unsupported operating system, try changing the OS short name to one in the list below. You can do this by editing the .OVF file and changing the following line:

<OperatingSystemSection ovf:id="1" vmw:osType="GuestOSShortName">

Replace the highlighted value with the OS Short Name from the list of Supported Operating Systems.