Product Documentation

Export VMs as OVF/OVA

Oct 16, 2015

You can export one or more VMs as an OVF or OVA package using the XenCenter Export wizard. To open the wizard, select the VM you want to export and on the VM menu, click Export. Note that the VMs must be shut down or suspended before they can be exported.

Note that you need an RBAC role of Pool Admin to export to OVF/OVA. The Export wizard will perform checks when it starts up to ensure that you have a Pool Admin role before allowing you to continue. See RBAC overview for more information about RBAC roles.


  1. Open the Export wizard: select the pool or server containing the VM(s) you want to export, then on the VM menu, click Export.
  2. On the first page of the wizard, enter the name of the export file, specify the folder where you want the file(s) to be saved, and select OVF/OVA Package (*.ovf, *.ova) from the Format list, and click Next.
  3. Select the VMs you want to export and then click Next.
  4. On the EULAs page, you can add previously prepared End User Licensing Agreement (EULA) documents (.rtf, .txt) in the package. To view the contents of a EULA in a text editor, select it in the list and click View. If you do not wish to include a EULA in the package, just click Next to continue.
  5. On the Advanced options page, specify any manifest, signature, and output file options, or just click Next to continue:
    1. To create a manifest for the package, select the Create a manifest check box. The manifest provides an inventory or list of the other files in a package and is used to ensure the files originally included when the package was created are the same files present when the package arrives. When the files are imported, a checksum is used to verify that the files have not changed since the package was created.
    2. To add a digital signature to the package, select the Sign the OVF package check box, browse to locate a certificate, and enter the private key associated with the certificate in the Private key password box. When a signed package is imported, the user can verify the package creator's identity by using the certificate's public key to validate the digital signature. Use a X.509 certificate which you have already created from a Trusted Authority and exported as either a .pem or .pfx file that contains the signature of the manifest file and the certificate used to create that signature.
    3. To output the selected VMs as a single (tar) file in OVA format, select the Create OVA Package check box. See Open Virtualization Format (OVF and OVA) for more on the different file formats.
    4. To compress the virtual hard disk images (.VHD files) included in the package, select the Compress OVF files check box. By default when you create an appliance package, the virtual hard disk images that are exported consume the same amount of space that was allocated to the VM. For example, a VM that is allocated 26 GB of space will have a hard disk image that consumes 26 GB of space, regardless of whether or not the VM actually requires that much space. Note that compressing the VHD files makes the export process take longer to complete, and importing a package containing compressed VHD files will also take longer as the Import wizard must extract all of the VHD images as it imports them.
    If both the Create OVA Package and Compress OVF files options are checked, the result is a compressed OVA file *.ova.gz.
  6. On the Transfer VM Settings page, configure networking options for the temporary VM used to perform the export process (the "Transfer VM"). Click Next to continue.
  7. On the final page of the wizard, review the settings you have selected on the previous pages. To have the wizard verify the exported package, select the Verify export on completion check box. Click Finish to begin exporting the selected VMs and close the wizard.

    The export process may take some time, depending on the size of the virtual disks, the available network bandwidth, and the disk interface speed of the XenCenter host. Progress is displayed on the status bar at the bottom of the XenCenter window and on the Events view under Notifications.

    To cancel an export in progress, click Notifications and then Events, find the export in the list of events, and click Cancel.