Import Disk Images

Using the XenCenter Import wizard, you can import a disk image into a resource pool or a specific host, creating a VM. The wizard takes you through many of the usual steps needed to create a VM in XenCenter: nominating a home server, and configuring storage and networking for the new VM, plus some additional steps required as part of the import process, including:

  • Configuring networking for the VM.
  • Specifying settings if importing disk images that were built on a hypervisor other than Citrix Hypervisor.
  • Specifying a boot mode for the new VM.

For more information, see VM Import and Export.

Requirements for importing disk images

You need an RBAC role of Pool Admin to import disk images. The Import wizard performs checks to ensure that you have a Pool Admin role in the destination pool before allowing you to continue. For more information, see RBAC overview.


  1. Open the Import wizard: on the File menu, select Import.
  2. On the first page of the wizard, locate the disk image file you want to import, then click Next to continue.

    If you enter a URL location (HTTP, HTTPS, file, FTP) in the Filename box, on clicking Next, a Download Package dialog opens. In this dialog, specify a folder on your XenCenter host where the disk image is to be copied.

  3. Specify the VM name and allocate CPU and memory resources.

    On the VM Definition page, enter the name of the new VM to be created from the imported disk image, and allocate CPU and initial memory resources. For more information, see VM CPU and Memory Allocation.

    Click Next to continue.

  4. Specify where to place the new VM and choose a home server.

    On the Location page, choose where you want to place the new VM, and (optionally) assign it a home server, then click Next to continue.

    • Select a pool or standalone server from the Import VMs to** list.
    • To nominate the home server for the VM, select a server from the list in the Home Server column. Citrix Hypervisor always attempts to start up a VM on its home server if it can. For more information on assigning a home server to new VMs, see Home Server.
    • If you do not want to nominate a home server, select Don’t assign a home server from the list in the Home Server column.
  5. Configure storage for the new VM.

    On the Storage page, select a storage repository (SR) where the imported virtual disk is placed, then click Next to continue.

  6. Configure networking for the new VM.

    On the Networking page, select a target network in the destination pool/standalone server for the new VM’s virtual network interface.

    Click Next to continue.

  7. Specify the boot option.

    On the Boot options page, specify the boot mode for the new VM. Select BIOS Boot to boot the VM in legacy BIOS mode.

    Citrix Hypervisor supports UEFI boot only on newly created Windows 10 (64-bit), Windows Server 2016 (64-bit), Windows Server 2019 (64-bit), and Windows Server 2022 (64-bit) VMs. Guest UEFI boot is an experimental feature. You can create UEFI-enabled VMs on hosts that are in a production environment. However, UEFI-enabled VMs must not be used for production purposes. You might have to re-create the VMs when you upgrade the host to a newer version of Citrix Hypervisor.

    For detailed information about Guest UEFI boot, see What’s new.

    Select UEFI Boot to boot the VM in UEFI mode.

  8. Enable Operating System Fixup.

    If the disk image that you are importing was built on a hypervisor other than Citrix Hypervisor, select Use Operating System Fixup. Choose an ISO SR where the Fixup ISO can be copied so that Citrix Hypervisor can use it. For more information, see About VM Import and Export.

  9. (XenCenter 8.2.2 and earlier) Configure Transfer VM networking.

    Older versions of XenCenter use a temporary VM to transfer the content of a disk image. In the latest version of XenCenter, a temporary VM is not used and this step is not required.

    On the Transfer VM Settings page, configure the networking settings for the VM, then click Next to continue.

    • Select a network from the list of network interfaces available in the destination pool or standalone server.
    • To use automated Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP) to automatically assign networking settings including the IP address, subnet mask and gateway, select Automatically obtain network settings using DHCP.
    • To configure networking settings manually, click Use these network settings and enter the IP address, subnet mask and gateway.
  • On the Finish page, review all the import settings. Click Finish to begin the import process and close the wizard.

    The import progress is displayed on the status bar at the bottom of the XenCenter window and also on the Events view under Notifications.

    The import process might take some time. The time it takes depends on the size of the imported virtual disks, the available network bandwidth, and the disk interface speed of the XenCenter host. When the import is finished, the newly imported VMs appear in the Resources pane.


    After using XenCenter to import a disk image that contains Windows operating systems, you must set the platform parameter. This varies according to the version of Windows contained in the disk image:

    • For Windows Server 2012, and later, set the platform parameter to device_id=0002. For example:

      xe vm-param-set uuid=<VM UUID> platform:device\_id=0002
    • For all other versions of Windows, set the platform parameter to viridian=true. For example:

      xe vm-param-set uuid=<VM UUID> platform:viridian=true
Import Disk Images