Installing VMware ovftool on Mac OS X

Posted on Sun 08 January 2012 in Mac

VMware offers a free tool to convert virtual machine files in different formats for example from .vmx to .ovf.

This tool can be used to convert:

VMX -> vSphere

Or you can deploy a OVF directly to a ESX host. It's  more powerful than it looks like.

The documentation can be found on the VMware site and it's short and clear.


Download the documentation and the tool from the VMware site:

You need a VMware id to have access but the tool itself is free.

After you downloaded the tool you can install it using the installer. The stand alone version 2.1 (which I used) will be located here: /Applications/VMware OVF Tool/

Start a terminal and change to this directory:

cd /Applications/VMware OVF Tool/

Now convert your files like you want. For example:

ovftool vmxs/Fedora.vmx ovfs/Fedora.ova

More examples how the tool can be used are shown by the command

ovftool --help examples


ovftool --vService:vDep1=provider_1 /ovfs/my_vapp.ovf
(specify a vService dependency)
ovftool -tt=vmx /ovfs/my_vapp.ovf /vms/
(.ovf file to .vmx file. Result files are /vms/my_vapp/my_vapp.[vmx|vmdk])
ovftool /vms/my_vm.vmx /ovfs/my_vapp.ovf
(.vmx file to .ovf file. Result is put in /ovfs/my_vapp.[ovf|vmdk])
(.ova file to .vmx file)
ovftool /ovfs/my_vapp.ovf vi://username:pass@my_esx_host
(.ovf file to ESX host using default mappings)
ovftool /ovfs/my_vm.vmx vi://username:pass@my_esx_host
(.vmx file to ESX host using default mappings)
(.ovf file from a web server to ESX host using defaults)
ovftool /ovfs/my_vapp.ovf \
(.ovf file to vCenter server using managed ESX host ip address)
ovftool vi://username:pass@my_vc_server/my_datacenter?ds=\
[Storage1] foo/foo.vmx c:\ovfs\
(VM on ESX/vCenter server to OVF using datastore location query)
ovftool /ovfs/my_vapp.ovf \
(.ovf file to vCenter server using vCenter inventory path)
ovftool vi://username:pass@my_host/my_datacenter/vm/my_vm_folder/my_vm_name\
(VC/ESX vm to .ovf file)
ovftool /virtualmachines/MyVM.vmx \
(Imports a .vmx file into a vApprun workspace using default name)
(shows summary information about the OVF package [probe mode])