VirtualBox 5: Importing and Exporting Virtual Machines


General Information

VirtualBox is capable of importing and exporting virtual machines in the standard Open Virtualization Format (OVF). The Open Virtualization Format is uniform across a wide range of virtualization software products, which allows for virtual machines to be imported to a program like VirtualBox. OVF is supported by VirtualBox with the graphical user interface as well as the command line. This creates the option to package Virtual Appliances, which are disk images combined with configuration settings to be distributed with ease from one virtualization product to another.

A virtual appliance will contain the following files, which must be located in the same directory for the files to be imported by VirtualBox:

  • One or more disk images (usually in VMDK format)
  • A textual description file with the .ovf extension (in XML dialect)

To Import a Virtual Appliance in OVF Format

1. Select File | Import Appliance from the taskbar at the top of the window. 

the import appliance command.

2. The Appliance Import Wizard will appear. Open the file dialog and select the OVF text file with the .ovf file extension.

appliance to import screen

3. The wizard will then display the virtual machines in the OVF file. Users can double-click on the description items to configure the settings of the VM. Upon clicking Import, the disk images will be copied and the virtual machines will be created according to the settings that are explained in the dialog.

NOTE: The VMDK images of virtual appliances will need to be decompressed and copied before the VM is able to use it. This is so due to the large size of these files which are usually delivered in a compressed format.

To Export a Virtual Appliance in OVF Format

1. Click the VM. Select File | Export Appliance from the taskbar at the top of the window.

the export appliance command.

2. The Appliance Export Wizard will then appear. Various windows will allow users to merge many virtual machines into an OVF appliance and to choose a target location where the VMDK and OVF files will be stored. The conversion process will then be initiated.

the export appliances screen

the appliance settings

Referenced from:

6/28/2017 1:28:00 PM