How can I convert a VMDK to OVF?

2 Answers 2


The VMDK file is the actual virtual disk, an ovf file is just a settings file (plain text), that VMWare products (like ESXi Server) and other virtualization software (like Virtualbox) can use when importing the VM.

You may have an existing settings file (like a .vmx) which you can convert into ovf format using VMware's tool 'ovftool': http://communities.vmware.com/community/vmtn/vsphere/automationtools/ovf

There's quite a lot of options, which are detailed here in the user guide: http://www.vmware.com/support/developer/ovf/ovf20/ovftool_201_userguide.pdf

  • Example use: ovftool mymachine.vmx mymachine.ovf Jan 22, 2015 at 17:47
  • BTW, ovftool's src and/or destination VM locations CAN be on remote ESX(i) hosts! :) Jan 27, 2015 at 1:00
  • Haven't tried this yet but while importing into AWS I am guessing, its going to help me. I will post my findings when done Mar 18, 2016 at 19:08

You can use VMware's Workstation Pro or thier OVF tool. In Workstation, load the VM then under file menu, select export to OVF. Be aware this can take a long time. VMware's OVF Tools is a command line option.

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