An OVF template captures the state of a virtual machine or vApp into a self-contained package. The disk files are stored in a compressed, sparse format.

Required privilege: vApp.Export


Power off the virtual machine or vApp.


  1. From the Actions menu in the vSphere Web Client, navigate to a virtual machine or vApp and select Export OVF Template .
  2. In the Name field, type the name of the template.
    For example, type MyVm.
    Note: When you export an OVF template with a name that contains asterisk (*) characters, those characters turn into underscore (_) characters.
  3. Click Choose to browse to the folder location where you want to save the template.
  4. Click Overwrite existing files to overwrite files with the same name in that folder.
  5. In the Format field, determine how you want to store the files.
    • Select Folder of files (OVF) to store the OVF template as a set of files (.ovf, .vmdk, and .mf). Use this format if you plan to publish the OVF files on a Web server or image library. You can import the package, for example into the vSphere Web Client by specifying the URL to the OVF file.
    • Select Single file (OVA) to package the OVF template into a single .ova file. Use this format if the OVF template will be downloaded from a Web site or moved around using a USB key.
  6. (Optional) In the Annotation field, type a description.
  7. Select the Enable advanced options checkbox if you want to include additional information or configurations in the exported template. The advanced settings include information about the BIOS UUID, MAC addresses, boot order, PCI Slot numbers, and configuration settings used by other applications, such as VMware vShield.
    These options limit portability.
  8. Click OK.

Example: Folder Locations for OVF and OVA Files

If you type OvfLib for a new OVF folder, the following files might be created:

  • C:\OvfLib\MyVm\MyVm.ovfI
  • C:\OvfLib\
  • C:\OvfLib\MyVm-disk1.vmdk
If you type C:\NewFolder\OvfLib for a new OVF folder, the following files might be created:
  • C:\NewFolder\OvfLib\MyVm\MyVm.ovfI
  • C:\NewFolder\OvfLib\
  • C:\NewFolder\OvfLib\MyVm-disk1.vmdk

If you choose to export into the OVA format, and type MyVm, the file C:\MyVm.ova is created.