You can create and deploy a vApp directly from an OVF package without creating a vApp template and a corresponding catalog item.

VMware Cloud Director has its own restrictions for OVF deployments that differ from the restrictions in vCenter. As a result, an OVF deployment that is successful in vCenter might fail in VMware Cloud Director.

VMware Cloud Director supports OVF 1.1, but it does not support all the sections of the OVF 1.1 schema. For example, the DeploymentOptions section in OVF is not supported.

An OVF deployment in VMware Cloud Director involves many components, such as TransferService, spool area on NFS mount, NFC connection to vCenter, checksum validation, and so on. If any of these components fail, this results in OVF upload failure.

If you upload an OVF package with a manifest file, VMware Cloud Director validates the SHA-1 hash of the OVF descriptor file and all VMDK files to the values in the file. If any hash does not match, the upload fails. A system administrator can deactivate this check by setting the CONFIG property to ovf.manifest.check.disabled.

For VMware Cloud Director 10.4.2 and later, uploading an OVF with a Trusted Platform Module (TPM) RASD section attaches a new TPM device to each VM with a defined TPM. For more information on VMs with TPM devices, see Working with Virtual Machines in the VMware Cloud Director Tenant Portal.


  • Verify that you have an OVF package to upload and that you have permission to upload OVF packages and deploy vApps.
  • Verify that the OVF version in the OVF descriptor file is not 0.9.
  • The default maximum supported size of an OVF descriptor file in VMware Cloud Director is 12 MB. You can override this by editing the CONFIG property ovf.descriptor.size.max.
  • Verify that the default maximum allowed size of the manifest file (.mf extension) is 1 MB.
  • Verify that the OVF package complies with the OVF XSD schema.
  • If a hardware version is provided in the VirtualSystemType element of the OVF descriptor file, verify that it is lower than the highest hardware version that is supported in the VDC where you upload the OVF.
  • If the OVF descriptor file contains ExtraConfig elements, verify that your system administrator included these elements in AllowedList of extraConfigs elements. Elements that are not included in the AllowedList cause the OVF upload to fail with a validation error.


  1. On the Virtual Data Center dashboard screen, click the card of the VDC you want to explore, and from the secondary left panel, select vApps.
  2. Click New and select Add vApp from OVF.
  3. Click the Upload button and browse to a location accessible from your computer, and select the OVF/OVA template file.
    The location might be your local hard drive, a network share, or a CD/DVD drive. The supported file extensions include .ova, .ovf, .vmdk, .mf, .cert, and .strings files. If you select to upload an OVF file, which references more files than you are trying to upload, for example, a VMDK file, you must browse and select all files.
  4. Click Next.
  5. Verify the details of the OVF/OVA template you are about to deploy and click Next.
  6. Enter a name and, optionally a description for the vApp, and click Next.
  7. (Optional) Change the computer name of the VMs in the vApp so that they contain only alphanumeric characters and hyphens.
    This step is required only if the name of the vApp contains spaces or special characters. By default, the computer name is prepopulated with the name of the virtual machine. However, computer names must contain only alphanumeric characters and hyphens.
  8. From the Storage Policy drop-down menu, select a storage policy for each of the virtual machines in the vApp, and click Next.
  9. From the source vApp networks listed in the template, select the vApp networks to which you want each virtual machine to connect.
    • Select a network for each virtual machine from the Network drop-down menu.
    • You can select the Switch to the advanced networking workflow check box, and enter the network settings such as primary NIC, network adapter type, network, IP assignment and IP address settings for each virtual machine in the vApp manually.
    You can configure additional properties for virtual machines after you complete the wizard.
  10. Click Next.
  11. (Optional) If the selected OVA/OVF includes user-configurable OVF properties for customizing the vApp and its VMs, specify the values on the Custom Properties page.
  12. Customize the hardware of the virtual machines in the vApp, and click Next.
    Option Description
    Number of virtual CPUs Enter the number of virtual CPUs for each virtual machine in the vApp.

    The maximum number of virtual CPUs that you can assign to a virtual machine depends on the number of logical CPUs on the host and the type of guest operating system that is installed on the virtual machine.

    Cores per socket Enter the number of cores per socket for each virtual machine in the vApp.

    You can configure how the virtual CPUs are assigned in terms of cores and cores per socket. Determine how many CPU cores you want in the virtual machine, then select the number of cores you want in each socket, depending on whether you want a single core CPU, dual-core CPU, tri-core CPU, and so on.

    Number of cores View the number of cores for each virtual machine in the vApp.

    The number changes when you update the number of virtual CPUs.

    Total memory (MB) Enter the memory in MB for each virtual machine in the vApp.

    This setting determines how much of the ESXi host memory is allocated to the virtual machine. The virtual hardware memory size determines how much memory is available to applications that run in the virtual machine. A virtual machine cannot benefit from more memory resources than its configured virtual hardware memory size.

  13. Select an organization VDC network or a vApp network to which to map the source vApp network from the OVA/OVF.
  14. Click Next.
  15. On the Ready to Complete page, review your settings and click Finish.


The new vApp appears in the card view.