How to Load an OVA File in VMware

By Mark Pool

VMware virtual machines are made up of a settings file and virtual hard drive file. The Open Virtualization Format (OVF) was developed as an open standard across different virtualization platforms, including programs created by VMware. An OVF virtual machine consists of a folder containing virtual machine files and a file describing them. An Open Virtualization Appliance (OVA) file is a single compressed file containing the contents of an OVF folder. VMware provides the OVF Tool to convert, import, load or deploy OVFs and OVAs on VMware platforms.

Step 1

Download and run the OVF Tool setup program on the workstation or server running VMware (see Resources).

Step 2

Click "Next" to accept the license agreement and install the OVF Tool.

Step 3

Click the "Start" button, type "cmd" in the search field and press "Enter" to open the command prompt in Windows. In most versions of Linux, open the "Applications" menu and click "Terminal."

Step 4

Type the following command to load the OVA file:ovftool /path/to/file/source.ova vi://vmwarehost.companydomain/Replace "/path/to/file/source.ova" with the location of the OVA file. Replace "vmwarehost" with the name of the computer running VMware, and "companydomain" with the name of the company network. This command loads the OVA file directly without any further configuration.

Tips & Warnings

  • This method also works for an uncompressed OVF folder.