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.

Contents

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.
  • Added --sslVersion option to specify SSL version for HTTPS connections.
  • Improved security by disabling Diffie Hellman cipher from the default cipher suite.
  • Added --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) operating systems:

  • 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.

VMware Format OVF Format OVA Format
Files LinuxAppliance.nvram
LinuxAppliance.vmdk
LinuxAppliance-s001.vmdk
LinuxAppliance-s002.vmdk
LinuxAppliance.vmsd
LinuxAppliance.vmx
LinuxAppliance.vmxf
LinuxAppliance.ovf
LinuxAppliance-0.vmdk
LinuxAppliance-1.vmdk
LinuxAppliance-2.vmdk
LinuxAppliance.ova
Total Size 251MB using thin provisioning
4000MB using thick provisioning
132MB 132MB

Installing the OVF Tool

Download the Installer

  1. Download the VMware OVF Tool as an installer or an archive (zipped/compressed) file:
    Operating System Download Filename
    Linux 32-bit VMware-ovftool-4.2.0-*-lin.i386.bundle
    Linux 64-bit VMware-ovftool-4.2.0-*-lin.x86_64.bundle
    OS X 64-bit VMware-ovftool-4.2.0-*-mac.x64.dmg
    Windows 32-bit VMware-ovftool-4.2.0-*-win.i386.msi
    Windows 64-bit VMware-ovftool-4.2.0-*-win.x86_64.msi
  2. Install the downloaded file using the appropriate method for your operating system:
    Operating System Download Filename
    Linux 32 bit Run the shell script as ./VMware-ovftool-4.2.0-*-lin.i386.bundle
    Linux 64-bit Run the shell script as ./VMware-ovftool-4.2.0-*-lin.x86_64.bundle
    Mac OS X 64-bit Double-click the package installer, VMware-ovftool-4.2.0-*-mac.x64.dmg
    Windows 32 bit Double-click the installation file, VMware-ovftool-4.2.0-*-win.i386.msi
    Windows 64-bit Double-click the installation file, VMware-ovftool-4.2.0-*-win.x86_64.msi

Complete the Installation Steps

Follow this procedure for all installations:

  1. At the Welcome screen, click Next.
  2. At the license agreement, read the license agreements, select “I agree...” and click Next.
  3. Accept the path suggested or change to a path of your choice and click Next.
  4. When you finish choosing your installation options, click Install.
  5. When the installation is complete, click Next.
  6. 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.

  1. From the Start menu, click Run.
  2. 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.

  1. Right-click My Computer.
  2. Select Properties.
  3. Select Advanced system settings.
  4. Select Environment Variables.
  5. Highlight (select) the Path variable in the System variable (lower) pane.
  6. 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:

  1. Use vCenter Server to create an ephemeral port on the desired network.
  2. Deploy the appliance to that port group on an ESXi host.
  3. Switch the appliance over to that static port group.
  4. Use vCenter Server to delete the ephemeral port group.

Deprecated Features

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.