An OVF package 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


  1. In the vSphere Client, select the virtual machine or vApp and select File > Export > Export OVF Template.
  2. In the Export OVF Template dialog, type the Name of the template.
    For example, type MyVm.
    Note: When exporting an OVF template with a name that contains asterisk (*) characters, those characters turn into underscore characters (_).
  3. Enter the Directory location where the exported virtual machine template is saved, or click “...” to browse for the location.
    The C:\ drive is the default location where the template is stored.
    For example, OvfLib.
  4. 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) This format is optimal if you plan to publish the OVF files on a web server or image library. The package can be imported, for example, into the vSphere client by publishing the URL to the .ovf file.
    • Select Single file (OVA) to package the OVF template into a single .ova file. This might be convenient to distribute the OVF package as a single file if it needs to be explicitly downloaded from a web site or moved around using a USB key.
  5. In Description, type a description for the virtual machine.
    By default, the text from the Notes pane on the virtual machine’s Summary tab appears in this text box.
  6. Select the checkbox if you want to include image files attached to floppy and CD/DVD devices in the OVF package.
    Note: This checkbox only shows if the virtual machine is connected to an ISO file or if the floppy drive is connected to a floppy image.
  7. Click OK.


The download process is shown in the Export window.

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.