VMware OVF Tool Release Notes
Release date: 15 NOV 2016 | Build number: 4586971
Version 4.2.0. Last document update: 28 APR 2017
Check frequently for additions and updates to these release notes.
New Features in This Release
This software supports Open Virtualization Format (OVF) packages
created with previous versions of the OVF Tool,
and produces files compatible with OVF specifications 1.0 and 0.9.
OVF Tool 4.2 has some new features including many that emphasize security.
- Added SHA256 and SHA512 support for both manifest validation and digital signing.
- Improved security by disabling TLSv1.0 protocol.
--sslVersion option to specify SSL version for HTTPS connections.
- Improved security by disabling Diffie Hellman cipher from the default cipher suite.
--sslCipherList option to override default cipher suite.
- New NVRAM support for the EFI boot type (secure boot).
System Requirements for OVF Tool
The OVF Tools supports the following operating systems and software.
Supported Operating Systems
The OVF Tool supports the following Windows 32-bit (x86) and 64-bit (x86_64)
- Windows 10 32-bit (x86) and 64-bit (x86_64)
- Windows Server 2012 and 2012 R2 64-bit
- Windows 8.1 32-bit (x86) and 64-bit (x86_64)
- Windows Server 2008 R2 64-bit
- Windows 7 32-bit (x86) and 64-bit (x86_64)
The OVF Tool supports the following Linux operating systems:
- CentOS 7.1 and earlier
- Fedora 22 and earlier
- Oracle Linux 7.1
- RedHat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) 7.1 and earlier
- SUSE Linux Enterprise Server (SLES) 12.1 and earlier
- Ubuntu 15.04 and earlier
- VMware Project Photon
The OVF Tool supports the following Mac OS X 64-bit operating systems:
- Mac OS X 10.11
- Mac OS X 10.10
- Mac OS X 10.9
Supported VMware Products and Platforms
Version 4.2 of the OVF Tool supports the following VMware software:
- vSphere 6.5, 6.0, and 5.5
- vCloud Director 8.10, 8.0, 5.6, and 5.5 (source from OVF or OVA types only)
- ESXi 6.5, 6.0, and 5.5
- vCloud Suite 6.5, 6.0, and 5.5
- Horizon View 5.x, 6.x, and 7.x
- VMware Workstation 12.x
- VMware Fusion 8.x
- App Volumes 3.0, 2.11, 2.10, and 2.9
- VMware Studio can generate OVF packages.
OVF support is built into the vSphere (Web) Client that installs from vCenter Server.
It is compatible with vSphere and ESXi hosts.
Newer versions of vSphere supply later versions of the OVF Tool.
ESXi and vCenter Server versions older than 5.5 are deprecated;
the next release will not support them.
Space Requirements for OVF Packages
A virtual machine is stored as a set of files on disk. In the VMware
runtime format, these files have extensions .vmx, .vmdk, .vmsd, .vmxf, and
.nvram. The VMware hypervisor requires these file formats, which are
optimized for efficient execution. An ESXi host often uses fully allocated
flat disks in a VMFS file system to optimize virtual machine performance.
The OVF standard supports efficient, secure distribution of vApps and
virtual machine templates. OVF is optimized for these goals, rather than
for efficient runtime execution. OVF does not include specific information
on runtime disk format because such information is not required until the
virtual machine is deployed. When you package appliances with OVF, you can
optimize one vApp for high performance in a production environment, and
optimize another for minimal storage space during evaluation.
The following table contrasts a virtual machine in VMware file format
with a virtual machine in OVF format. OVF employs a compressed sparse
format for VMDK files. Virtual disks in that format cannot be used
directly for execution without conversion.
251MB using thin provisioning
4000MB using thick provisioning
Installing the OVF Tool
Download the Installer
- Download the VMware OVF Tool as an installer or an archive (zipped/compressed) file:
|OS X 64-bit
- Install the downloaded file using the appropriate method for your operating system:
|Linux 32 bit
||Run the shell script as
||Run the shell script as
|Mac OS X 64-bit
||Double-click the package installer,
|Windows 32 bit
||Double-click the installation file,
||Double-click the installation file,
Complete the Installation Steps
Follow this procedure for all installations:
- At the Welcome screen, click Next.
- At the license agreement, read the license agreements, select
“I agree...” and click Next.
- Accept the path suggested or change to a path of your choice and
- When you finish choosing your installation options,
- When the installation is complete, click Next.
- Deselect Show the readme file if you do not want to view
the readme file, and click Finish to exit.
Running the OVF Tool from a Windows Command Line
After installing the OVF Tool on Windows,
you can run the OVF Tool from the Windows command line.
- From the Start menu, click Run.
- In the Run dialog, enter
cmd to open the Windows command line tool.
If you have the OVF Tool folder in your Path environment variable,
you can run the OVF Tool from the command line.
Adding the OVF Tool to your Path Environment Variable
The following instructions are for Windows 7,
but the steps are similar on other Windows systems.
- Right-click My Computer.
- Select Properties.
- Select Advanced system settings.
- Select Environment Variables.
- Highlight (select) the Path variable
in the System variable (lower) pane.
- Click the Edit button and type the path to the folder
where you installed the OVF Tool (at the end of the existing path).
Known Issues in This Version
The OVF Tool supports OVF specifications 0.9 and 1.0,
but does not support OVF specification 2.0 (not to be confused with OVF Tool version 2.0).
For workarounds to allow import of VirtualBox OVF 2.0,
see this web page.
The ovftool --proxy=proxy.example.com option should work,
but when used within vSphere, it does not.
To make a network connection through the proxy server,
you must add the --X:viUseProxy option
as documented in the OVF Tool User's Guide.
You can not use the OVF Tool to deploy a VM to static DVS port group.
To work around this issue:
- Use vCenter Server to create an ephemeral port on the desired network.
- Deploy the appliance to that port group on an ESXi host.
- Switch the appliance over to that static port group.
- Use vCenter Server to delete the ephemeral port group.
There are no deprecated features in version 4.2 of the OVF Tool,
but support for Windows XP and Windows Server 2003 has been discontinued.