Creating Virtual machine OVF file to deploy in any hypervisor that supports OVF.

What is OVF

As per vmware , OVF (Open Virtualization Format), new Virtualization standard which promise to deliver cross-platform vendor independent distribution framework.

In addition, the OVF is a standards-based, portable format that allows the user to deploy this virtual machine in any hypervisor that supports OVF.


VMDK is a file format that only encodes a single virtual disk from a virtual machine. A VMDK does not contain information about the virtual hardware of a machine, such as the CPU, memory, disk, and network information. A virtual machine may include multiple virtual disks or VMDKs. An administrator who wishes to deploy a virtual disk must then configure all of this information, often manually, using incomplete documentation.

The OVF format, on the other hand, provides a complete specification of the virtual machine. This includes the full list of required virtual disks plus the required virtual hardware configuration, including CPU, memory, networking, and storage.

Scenario –

I am planning to create a web server with minimum requirement like RAM-256, single processor and small disk size which can hold the system configuration file along with HTTP package.

What happened when I need to add disk, I can add disk at run time and increase RAM and change the processor accordingly after importing the web server OVF on VMware environment.

The following change are required in order to work with HTTPD.

Add nic on OVF web server, configure IP and change the same IP setting on httpd.conf LISTEN parameter

like Listen x.x.x.x:80

Steps for OVF installation and configuration –

1 – Installation –

Download – VMware-ovftool-1.0.0-166674-win.i386 from website , installed it on windows system. I have installed it on windows 2008 DC.

Configure VMware ovftool installation path on exported PATH environmental variable so that it can be available throughout the system


Right Click on my computer - Properties  Advance system settings  Environmental Variables
System variables - select path - click on Edit button

Add the following on
C:Program Files (x86)VMwareVMware OVF Tool

Variables value.

Note – OVFTool installation path may be different so choose accordingly.

2 – Configuration –

1 – Configure a folder where newly created ovf files can reside.

in my example here is the path –


2 – login on CMD and run the following command

C:Program Files (x86)VMwareVMware OVF Tool>ovftool.exe d:vmmachinesopenfilerOpenFiler.vmx e:openfilerovfopenfiler.ovf
Opening VMX source: d:vmmachinesopenfilerOpenFiler.vmx
Opening OVF target: e:openfilerovfopenfiler.ovf
Target: e:openfilerovfopenfiler.ovf
Disk Transfer Completed
Completed successfully

C:Program Files (x86)VMwareVMware OVF Tool>

3- Check if OVF file is successfully created or not –

E:>cd openfilerovf

Volume in drive E is Satya
Volume Serial Number is 0CC5-C258

Directory of E:openfilerovf

11/26/2011 03:03 PM .
11/26/2011 03:03 PM ..
11/26/2011 03:03 PM 384,115,200 openfiler-disk1.vmdk
11/26/2011 03:03 PM 131
11/26/2011 03:03 PM 3,864 openfiler.ovf
3 File(s) 384,119,195 bytes
2 Dir(s) 32,896,319,488 bytes free


NoteI have taken openfiler virtual machine for creating OVF format machine which can be deploy in any hypervisor that supports OVF.


9 thoughts on “Creating Virtual machine OVF file to deploy in any hypervisor that supports OVF.

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